ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The surge in COVID-19 cases in Maryland is not letting up with 1,667 new infections and 32 more deaths in a single day. The number of deceased has not been this high since June.
With many people traveling, Baltimore City’s former health commissioner has this warning: “Almost 60 percent of the spread is by people who are asymptomatic and that could well be your loved one so don’t let this Thanksgiving be your last one,” Dr. Leana Wen told CNN.
There is a bright spot: Maryland’s positivity rate is down .28 percent to 6.6 percent.
The number of people hospitalized and in the ICU is also up.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) November 24, 2020
Dr. David Marcozzi with UMMS warned about the shrinking number of available hospital beds.
“If we don’t follow the public health guidance then we are going to have a significant surge in patients after Thanksgiving and through the holidays. We’re worried about that. It is a genuine concern,” Dr. Marcozzi said.
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He praised the efforts being done to make sure there are enough available beds statewide.
“Right now, we think as a system,” he said of UMMS. “No one hospital that’s inside the University of Maryland Medical System stands alone. …What we did as a system is we brought it all together—all of our hospitals—so that when one hospital receives a surge, all of our hospitals respond.”
This week, Governor Larry Hogan announced a crackdown on enforcement of COVID-related regulations.
Hogan said state police would be “highly visible” in business districts across the state and target areas around bars and restaurants. Last week, he announced those establishments must close by 10 p.m. They’re also limited to 50 percent capacity with some jurisdictions restricting that further to 25 percent.
“This is a people thing. Bartenders, servers, patrons must come and support these establishments, but we must be careful,” bartender Charles Nelson told WJZ.
Baltimore City and Baltimore County have recently cited several businesses with rule violations.
Dr. Marcozzi had this message for Marylanders: “Let’s keep ourselves safe and each other safe so we don’t spread this virus and create more work for those essential workers and put them more at risk. That’s how we can show our thanks this Thanksgiving.”
On Monday, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman told WJZ his inspectors have faced some difficulties in enforcement.
“There have been some examples where the inspectors have been harassed by people who do not believe these restrictions should be complied with,“ Pittman said. “It is unfortunate. Our women inspectors have had the most harassment. We have had to send men with them, and when they have to ask a business to close, they call the police to join them to do that.“