The National Board of Health discusses increase in COVID-19 cases at first personal meeting | Coronavirus
The National Board of Health discusses increase in COVID-19 cases at first personal meeting |  Coronavirus

The National Board of Health discusses increase in COVID-19 cases at first personal meeting | Coronavirus

The Frederick County Board of Health discussed the recent increase in local COVID-19 cases on Monday during its first personal meeting since the recall in November 2020.

Local positivity levels stood at 13.91% as of Friday, the latest data available on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. In addition to this winter’s dramatic rise in virus levels caused by the highly contagious omicron variant, the last time positivity levels were so high was in January 2021.

Frederick County’s case rate was 33.53 per. 100,000 inhabitants as of Friday, according to amts COVID-19 dashboard.

Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, the county health officer, suspects that the actual COVID-19 case and the positivity rates are higher than what the available data suggests.

Results from home coronavirus tests – which are becoming more and more widespread – are not included in the number reported on the county health department’s website, she said at Monday’s meeting.

The health board consists of county chairman Jan Gardner, Brookmyer and the county council’s seven members.

Omicron remains the predominant variant of the virus circulating in communities across the country, Brookmyer said. The Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1, which is even more contagious than the original version of the omicron that circulated last winter, is becoming more widespread.

There has also been an increase in staff and student COVID-19 cases reported by Frederick County Public Schools in recent weeks, according to data available at the school district coronavirus dashboard.

Six hundred and twenty-four cases were reported in the local school district last week, and 578 total cases were reported the week before.

During the two weeks prior to May 9, a total of 393 cases were reported.

Just over 200 students and staff are affected by current outbreaks in 27 schools, according to data reported on the health department’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Unlike previous increases, however, the current increase in COVID-19 cases is not reflected in deaths or hospitalizations from the virus, Brookmyer said during Monday’s meeting.

Since the start of the month, a death has been attributed to the virus in Frederick County. In April, seven deaths were reported, fewer than the 19 deaths reported the previous April.

There were 13 people hospitalized with COVID-19 Monday night, one of whom was treated in the intensive care unit, according to data reported by Frederick Health.

The number of people being treated at the local intensive care unit has not exceeded three at once since mid-March, according to county COVID-19 data.

Frederick Health Hospital no longer tests all inpatients for the virus, according to information from Frederick Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kathy Weishaar, who Brookmyer shared Monday night.

Now the hospital only tests patients who are symptomatic, undergoing surgical procedures or being treated in certain units, meaning there are fewer “random” infections recorded in the data, Brookmyer said.

The health department’s spokeswoman, Rissah Watkins, also shared takeaways from the recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment report at Monday night’s meeting.

The report, published as a draft in March, gathers information from studies, reports and focus groups to identify the leading causes of death and illness in Frederick County, the health problems that local residents find most worrying, and the barriers that prevent community members in achieving results. wellness.

It also outlines long-standing inequalities in health and life expectancy in Frederick County, highlighting how the well-being of local residents often depends on where they live and the populations and communities with which they identify.

“The choices we make are based on the choices we have,” Brookmyer said, repeating a phrase she often utters when discussing public health.

The next health council meeting is scheduled for October.

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @ 24_angier

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