ANNAPOLIS, MD, December 20, 2021 – Due to a sustained increase in hospitalizations and COVID-19 outbreaks, the Anne Arundel County Department of Health strongly advises all people 2 years of age and older to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and in outdoors in crowded areas where distancing is not possible. All businesses should require staff and customers to wear masks indoors and outdoors, except for activities that cannot take place masked. Masks should fit snugly and cover the nose and mouth.
In the past three weeks, COVID-19-related hospitalizations at the county’s two hospitals, Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center, have more than doubled to around 95 people and the number continues to rise. This has put extreme pressure on our hospital systems and healthcare professionals and will result in service changes as outlined in the governor’s order last week.
In the past two weeks, epidemics in all facilities in the county have increased by more than two-thirds to over 80. Outbreaks are being recorded in facilities such as schools, nursing homes, daycares, child care centers, hospitals. assisted living facilities and other similar establishments.
Although data on the case rate is not available over the past two weeks due to the state’s computer problems, all available indicators show an increasing spread of COVID-19 and an increase in the severity of COVID- 19.
We are entering the colder months when the transmission of COVID-19 is the highest. The winter break was a source of the increased spread of COVID-19 last year and, with no restrictions in place this year, is expected to fuel the spread again. A greater number of Omicron variants are detected.
In addition to the masking notice, the Department of Health strongly recommends that all eligible people receive their COVID-19 vaccine or booster. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unvaccinated people are 14 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated and 20 times more likely to die than those who are fully vaccinated and stimulated.