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(Oct. 16, 2020) Maryland’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic remains steady, with a seven-day positivity rate of 3.09 percent as of Wednesday. Last week, the rate was 2.88 percent.

According to Gov. Larry Hogan, all counties were reporting positivity rates less than four percent as of Monday.

Worcester County’s positivity rate sits at 2.69 percent, a decrease from 3.98 percent last week.

On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University reported the state positivity rate at 5.4 percent. Its testing relies on data from the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer tracking organization from The Atlantic magazine. This differs from the health department positivity rate because Johns Hopkins eliminates duplicate tests.

Since last Friday, at least 31 new cases have been confirmed in the county, according to the Worcester County Health Department. Last week, 53 new cases were confirmed.

This brings the county’s total cases since March to 1,143 as of Wednesday.

There have been 30 coronavirus-related deaths in Worcester, with 18 of them at the Berlin Nursing Home.

As of Thursday, the state had 133,548 cases. In this area, 413 cases have now been reported in the Berlin and Ocean Pines 21811 zip code area, 368 cases were listed for the Ocean City 21842 zip code, 118 in the Snow Hill 21863 zip code and 179 in the Pocomoke City 21851 zip code.

A zip code must have at least eight cases to be listed.

A total of 1,002 people have been released from public monitoring. Worcester has conducted 25,443 coronavirus tests.

As of Wednesday afternoon, three patients with coronavirus were in Atlantic General Hospital’s medical/surgical unit, according to Toni Keiser, vice president of public relations at the hospital.

Hospital staff have cared for six patients who have come off a ventilator. Atlantic General has discharged 67 patients with coronavirus who are recovering.

As of Thursday, next door Wicomico had 2,259 cases, and Sussex County in Delaware has 7,328 cases as of Wednesday.

The county health department has two free testing sites: Pocomoke City on Walnut Street and the West Ocean City Park N’ Ride. The testing is for adults at least 18 years old and ID is required.

The Ocean City convention center on 40th Street had testing in the second half of the summer and there are no concrete plans to hold more at that location.

Testing is available for Worcester County residents only at the Pocomoke location on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The West Ocean City testing site is open Monday and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To schedule an appointment in Pocomoke or West Ocean City, call 410-632-1100, ext. 1119.

To treat patients, Atlantic General is asking for plasma donations from coronavirus survivors. This is for a Mayo Clinic study through the Blood Bank of Delmarva.

The first patient transfusion took place on April 24. Donors must have tested positive for the virus and have been symptom-free for 28 days. Those who have been symptom-free for 14 days may also donate if they have tested negative.

People who suspect they may have the virus should call their primary care providers or the health department.

The Worcester County Health Department has a hotline Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to determine if a person should be tested. Call 410-632-1100 and select option eight.

For general information on the coronavirus call the health department 24/7 at 410-632-4321 or visit worcesterhealth.org. View updates from Atlantic General at atlanticgeneral.org/patients-visitors/covid-19-updates/.

To track Maryland cases, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov/.

To report a restaurant or bar for not following safety guidelines, call environmental health at 410-352-3234.

To donate plasma, go to delmarvablood.org/cpdonor or call 1-888-825-6638.

Elizabeth covers Worcester County issues for Ocean City Today. In 2018, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a bachelor of arts. After graduation, Elizabeth spent a year with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware.

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