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OAKLAND — The percentage of Garrett County residents that have been vaccinated against COVID-19 was 5%, which nearly doubled the state average, the Garrett County Health Department reported Wednesday morning and said at that time it’s vaccination rate was the “highest in the state.”

Additionally, “Garrett County has used nearly their entire allotted inventory vaccinating Priority Group 1A persons,” the health department said via press release. “Current supplies are very low, with an additional shipment expected next week. When all available doses are scheduled for vaccinations, scheduling of appointments will stop until the next shipment is received.”

After someone is vaccinated against COVID-19, they should continue with recommended safety measures to reduce spread of the disease, Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens said via the release.

“The vaccine may keep your body from developing the symptoms of COVID-19, but it may not keep you from sharing the virus with other people,” he said. “In addition, the vaccine is not fully effective until two weeks after the second dose. All these factors make it necessary to continue wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and maintaining social distance.”

Wednesday’s COVID-19 statistics for Garrett County included 1,647 cases and 56 deaths due to the disease or its complications.

The Allegany County Health Department reported 28 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death.

“This brings the county’s cumulative case count to 5,799 with 164 deaths,” ACHD said via press release.

The Maryland Health Department on Wednesday reported 2,516 new COVID-19 cases, 37 additional deaths and 23 fewer hospitalizations across the state in the past 24 hours.

The statewide COVID-19 daily positivity rate by jurisdiction was 8.53%. Washington County was highest in Maryland at 14.73%, Garrett County was 13.83% and Allegany County was 6.92%.

Washington County also topped the state’s seven-day moving average case rate per 100,000 people by jurisdiction at 92.02, the statewide average was 53.39, Allegany County was at 46.46 and Garrett County was 53.67.

Western Maryland, which covers Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties, has vaccinated 3.13% of its Phase 1 population that includes licensed, registered, and certified health care providers; nursing home residents and staff; law enforcement and firefighters, EMS and other first responders; correctional health care staff and officers; and front line judiciary staff.

In a tweet Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland providers have now administered 164,907 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 15,827 new doses have been reported in the past 24 hours, and “99.6% of the doses allocated to Maryland have been delivered directly to providers.”

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