Maryland Health Department updated COVID-19 vaccination pyramid

CUMBERLAND — Although Gov. Larry Hogan recently announced that Phase 1C of the Maryland COVID-19 vaccination priority plan could begin next week, not every county in the state will be ready for that step, a local health official said.

The Allegany County Health Department is currently following Phase 1B of the vaccination plan, which includes assisted living facilities and other congregant settings, residents age 75 and older, and education and continuity of government.

Phase 1C includes people ages 65 to 74, and essential workers in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and the postal service.

“Counties that have completed Phase 1B vaccinations can begin Phase 1C as early as next week, but we are required to complete the priority groups in the order laid out by the governor, and we are still vaccinating Phase 1B,” ACHD Public Information Coordinator Brenda Caldwell said via email Wednesday. “Like other local jurisdictions, we are not moving into Phase 1C until 1B is complete.”

ACHD does not maintain a waiting list for the vaccinations, she said.

“(ACHD) has been pushing vaccine out to the designated priority groups as quickly as we receive them,” the agency said via press release Wednesday.

With the recent announcement that UPMC Western Maryland will also be offering vaccines for folks ages 75 and older, the county’s progress toward Phase 1C will move more quickly, the release stated.

“We’re happy to see that the demand for the vaccine is high in our area, and we look forward to serving all of our population as soon as possible,” Allegany County Health Officer Jenelle Mayer said via the release. “We appreciate the community’s cooperation and patience as we work toward that goal.”

Also on Wednesday, ACHD reported 143 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths since Friday.

“This brings the county’s cumulative case count to 5,982 with 169 deaths,” the release stated.

The Garrett County Health Department on Wednesday said as vaccination appointments open for people at least 75 years old, testing to detect COVID-19 continues.

“The current testing numbers for the county are trending downward, although they currently remain higher than those of the state,” GCHD said via press release. “The county’s vaccination rate stands at 6.9% of residents having received their first dose, compared to the state rate of 3.8%.”

Garrett County has experienced 1,737 COVID-19 cases with 56 deaths due to the disease or its complications.

“There currently is no set timeline for the next groups to be vaccinated because of the uncertainty of the arrival of additional vaccine,” GCHD said via the release.

State and local case rates

The Maryland Department of Health on Wednesday reported 2,167 new COVID-19 cases, 38 additional deaths and 17 fewer hospitalizations across the state in the past 24 hours.

Garrett County had the state’s highest daily COVID-19 positivity rate per jurisdiction at 14.51%. The statewide average was 7.76%, Allegany County was at 8.06% and Washington County was at 13.17%.

The seven-day moving average COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 people by jurisdiction statewide was 41.32, with Allegany County at 37.13, Garrett County at 44.31 and Washington County at 72.92.

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