BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For eight days straight Maryland’s seven-day positivity rate has decreased. On Monday, the state reported a positivity rate of 4.53%.

Health officials said this is a sign Marylanders know what to do and they’re listening to the warnings.

READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: 862 New Cases Reported; Hospitalizations, Positivity Rate Continue Declining

“We have taken the steps that we need to to protect ourselves, and what you’re seeing is the data demonstrates that fewer of us are being
infected from this virus,” said Dr. David Marcozzi, the University of Maryland Medical System’s COVID-19 Incident Commander.

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Hospitalizations have also decreased, and more than 7.4 million tests have been administered.

Edgar Brandt is getting a test before he travels out of state.

“The reason I’m doing it basically is because I’m not gonna play Russian roulette with somebody else’s life. That’s really what it comes down to, and so for me, the right thing to do is get tested,” he said.

Eamari Bell is a medical professional. In speaking about the increased testing frequency, she said “hopefully this is one step in the right direction towards us finally getting rid of this virus.”

But the picture isn’t all rosy. There’s been constant criticism about vaccine availability.

READ MORE: Baltimore City Schools To Offer Weekly COVID-19 Testing For Students, Staff

On Monday, a number of governors, including Gov. Larry Hogan, sent a letter to the Biden Administration because they want to be in the loop on what pharmacies are getting vaccines.

The letter said in part, “If the federal government distributes independently of the states to these entities without state coordination and consultation, redundancy and inefficiency may very well follow.”

Dr. Marcozzi acknowledged there is some good news despite some stubborn problems.

“We need to be very careful. No one should be overconfident right now, but we should be optimistic that we know how to do the right things to keep ourselves protected,” he said.

Since the start of the pandemic, 7,400 people have died in Maryland due to COVID-19.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Ava-joye Burnett