BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Michelle Preissler looks through pictures of precious memories of her husband Darryl. The 63-year-old from Pasadena died in May from COVID-19.

“There’s no more pictures to come. That’s all. That’s the hard part,” she said through tears.

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Michelle got vaccinated but her husband did not. She thinks he may have caught the virus at a wedding and she just wishes he would have gotten the shot before it was too late.

 

“And now I’m mourning something that could have been avoided if he’d have gotten vaccinated,” she said.

Health officials across the state are concerned about the rise in the dangerous and more contagious Delta variant, which now makes up almost half of Maryland’s new cases.

“There are some people who thought the disease would be going away and we’d be fine, but clearly with the Delta variant and other variants present, it’s a clear message that it’s not going away, and the vaccine is really a necessity,” said Jon Weinstein of the Maryland Department of Health.

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WJZ was allowed rare access into the Elijah Cummings’ Courthouse, formerly Courthouse East in downtown Baltimore, where the state, city and court system have partnered to hold a weekday vaccine clinic with first shots available through Aug. 13.

“There’s no better way to serve our citizens than to bring the vaccination centers here to the court,” Chief Judge Audrey Carrión of the Baltimore City Circuit Court told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “They don’t have to be in court for any type of business. They could just be walking down Calvert Street and come in.”

The vaccination clinic is on the 6th floor of the Cummings Courthouse Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. A clinic for second vaccines will run in the same room from Aug. 16 through Sept. 10.

Maryland has seen case numbers double in the past week but they remain relatively low thanks to the state ranking sixth in the nation for the number of people vaccinated.

Governor Larry Hogan tweeted Monday that 98 percent of the day’s new cases are among the unvaccinated.

All of the deaths last month in Maryland are among those who have not been vaccinated.

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