By Amy Kawata

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Covid-19 hospitalizations are trending in the wrong direction in Maryland.

“We’re watching the hospitalizations very carefully,” said Dr. Chuck Callahan, VP of population health at UMMC. “Compared to the same day last year, you’re still a third lower than they were last year.”

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Tuesday, the state health department reported nearly 1,200 people hospitalized with COVID-19, a number Maryland hasn’t seen since April.

Governor Larry Hogan says that number has more than doubled in recent weeks.

“The vast majority of people getting hospitalized still, four out of five are unvaccinated across the state,” Callahan said.

Officials are urging those who are eligible that now is the time to get vaccinated and boosted as new variants circulate.

“We know the higher of the number of people in the population who are vaccinated, the greater likelihood we will be able to contain further variants,” said Callahan.

“Every day I get an email from work that says someone’s tested positive,” said Nina Profili, who lives in Baltimore City.

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That’s one reason why Nina Profili recently got her booster shot.

“Trying to hunker down and prepare myself,” said Profili.

Rodney Salvador is also planning on rolling up his sleeves again, but in the meantime, he’s not taking any chances.

“Everywhere I go, I put on my mask. If I’m going to be in a crowd, I put on my mask,” said Salvador.

With the holidays right around the corner, doctors also say testing is still a key part of this pandemic.

“If you are at risk, or you know people that are at risk, getting a test before you go to that gathering is another way to ensure that you’re not bringing something other than a food to the potluck,” said Callahan

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Here are some upcoming community clinics for free vaccinations in Baltimore City:

  • State Center: 300 W. Preston Street, vaccinating Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vaccinating people who are 5+, and for the third dose/boosters, 16+
  • Mondawmin Mall: which is steps from the Metro stop and convenient for holiday shoppers, also has clinics coming up 12/16, 12/20, and 12/21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for 12+; and 12/22 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 12+
  • Right after Christmas, while children are still on break, additional clinics are scheduled at Mondawmin Mall for 12/27, 12/28, 12/29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for 5+ (and for the third dose/boosters, 16+)