ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — As the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant spreads, Maryland has seen a rapid uptick in COVID positivity, hospitalizations and deaths.
Despite the upward trend, Maryland is weathering the Delta-driven surge better than nearly every other state in the country. According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, the state currently has the second-lowest case rate per 100,000 residents in the country. Connecticut has the current lowest case rate.READ MORE: 'This Is 10K People Who Have Died' Maryland Woman Shares Story After Mom Dies From COVID-19, Urges People To Get Vaccinated
Governor Larry Hogan attributes the success to the state’s high vaccination rate. Last week, the state reached 80% vaccination for all eligible residents. On Tuesday, the state announced 95% of all seniors are vaccinated.
“We’re proud of the fact that we’re in much better shape here in Maryland,” said Hogan in a press conference Wednesday. “We have been able to avoid the spiking numbers that other states are experiencing with their case rates, surging out of control and their hospitals overflowing. We’re also encouraged that there are positive signs that our health metrics are actually beginning to level off.”READ MORE: ‘This Loss Is Ours As A City’ Baltimore Hockey Team Mourns Two Young Members, Murdered In East Baltimore Shooting
Hogan said despite encouraging numbers, the state cannot remain complacent. A statewide antibody testing program for Marylanders in congregant facilities spurred the decision to qualify senior residents in nursing homes for booster shots, effective immediately.
The study found waning vaccine efficacy among those who were vaccinated the earliest.
“This pilot program, which was one of the first of its kind in the country, included more than 500 nursing home residents from across Maryland,” Hogan said. “The findings reported by the Maryland Department of Health indicate that more than 60% demonstrated some form of waning immunity over time, and showed that as many as one in three are now particularly vulnerable.”MORE NEWS: Local Small Business Owners Share How American Rescue Plan Funding Helped To Keep Them Afloat
Additionally, all pharmacies and vaccine providers have been instructed to provide booster shots to those who consider themselves to be immunocompromised, no prescription or doctor’s order needed.