BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It has been one week since Thanksgiving weekend, and medical professionals say they’re concerned the holiday may have been a major community transmission event, noting COVID-19 numbers could continue to rise over the next few days and even weeks.
“The concern [is] that Thanksgiving itself, the holiday itself, may have been a major transmission event across the country,” Dr. Gregory Schrank, Assistant Professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said.READ MORE: Off-Duty Prince George's County Officer Pointed Gun At Driver In Annapolis Road Rage Incident, Police Say
This comes after the state hit a record-breaking, largest single-day new case total on Friday.
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“Unfortunately what then often follows with the spike of cases is a further increase in hospitalizations, and unfortunately as well as deaths due to COVID-19,” Dr. Schrank said.
The positivity rate is now over eight percent in Maryland.
“It’s quite possible that in the 10 days to two weeks following the holiday, that we’ll start to see an increase in the number of new cases,” Dr. Schrank said.READ MORE: Multiple Water Rescues Reported On Flooded Roadways Across Maryland
As the colder months approach, health officials are increasingly concerned about community transmission.
“When it starts to infect young people, they could bring it back to their home, and then those folks they interact with, friends or family can also pick up the virus,” Dr. Reginald Brown, Director of Emergency Medicine at Grace Medical Center, said.
If approved by the FDA, the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are expected to ship in mid-December, but Gov. Larry Hogan said it will not be enough to cover the 300,000 frontline healthcare workers in the state right away.
“This is worse than it was in May and June,” Dr. Brown said. “In those months, we were planning for a surge, there was a spike, but I don’t think it was nearly as significant as where we are right now.”
With the holidays approaching at the end of the month, officials are urging people to limit the number of indoor gatherings and reconsider traveling.MORE NEWS: Maryland Turns To Nursing Students & Out-Of-State Nurses To Shore Up Hospital Workforce