BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The Maryland Department of Health’s “sound truck” rolled through five West Baltimore zip codes Wednesday with a message: Get vaccinated. Gov. Larry Hogan’s goal is to get 70% of adults vaccinated with one shot by Memorial Day.

“We have to do what it takes to stay safe and beat the pandemic,” said Rev. Kobi Little, the president of Baltimore City’s NAACP. “The infection rates in Baltimore are just too high.”

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Maryland recorded its lowest positivity rate Wednesday at 1.87%.

 

Compared to 4 weeks ago, Baltimore City’s positivity rate is down 68 percent and cases are down 81 percent, but the number of deaths is up by 40 percent.

The mostly declining numbers are in large part because of vaccines.

For Memorial Day weekend, doctors caution to keep your guard up but note Maryland is in a much better position than last year.

“We have a lot to be optimistic about this summer,” said Dr. David Dowdy of Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We have to realize that when we have holidays people get together in big gatherings in the way they haven’t in the past. …We do need to be careful as we head into this Memorial Day weekend and make sure we’re not contributing to new outbreaks.”

Dowdy also said we need to think of getting people vaccinated as a longer-term effort.

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“While things are starting to normalize life is not fully back to normal,” he said.

Fifty-six percent of Marylanders have now received one shot of vaccine. State officials hope the new vaccine lottery will boost those numbers.

The latest $40,000 winner is from Baltimore City.

Winners do not have to publicly come forward. The state is drawing $40,000 winners daily with a grand prize $400,000 drawing on July 4th.

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.

 

 

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