Harford County COVID-19 Update: Testing & Reopening

0

County Executive Barry Glassman issued the following weekly update on COVID-19 in Harford County:

“The Maryland Department of Health is reporting a total of 1,041 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 58 deaths and 3 probable deaths among Harford County residents as of this morning.  Our new cases and fatalities continue to trend downward and our local health department reports there are no active nursing home cases at this time.

Testing

Harford’s positivity rate – the percentage of tests that come back positive – stood at 3% earlier this week, well below the levels recommended by public health officials to inform decisions as we reopen.  Testing is available in Harford County to anyone with a doctor’s order and 5.4% of our population has been tested, according to our Health Department. The state has set a goal of testing 10% of the population in each jurisdiction, and local planning is underway to offer a test to anyone who wants one.

Second wave

Prior pandemics have brought a second wave, and although our numbers are low now, we should not be surprised to see spikes moving forward. Public health officials estimate that roughly 5% of the U.S. population have been infected by COVID-19 and are likely to have some immunity. This is well below the 60-70% they consider necessary for “herd immunity.” Until there’s a vaccine, these experts recommend social distancing and facemasks in public, along with contact tracing, as the best ways to avoid a second wave.

Reopenings effective 5 p.m. today

Last week Gov. Hogan announced more reopenings will be allowed effective at 5 p.m. today.  They include gyms, fitness centers and aquatic centers, and indoor recreation establishments such as American Legion and VFW posts, at 50 percent capacity. Malls, casinos and arcades can also open with safety protocols in place. Details are in the governor’s most recent executive order.

As we head into this holiday weekend, thanks for continuing to support local businesses, stay safe, and have a Happy Juneteenth and Happy Father’s Day.”