Southern Maryland Region Lags Behind Statewide Average For COVID-19 Testing While Cases Rise

Graphic provided via Governor Larry Hogan's Office.

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. — In a release put out by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Aug. 1, the Republican leader touted an impressive benchmark for the Old Line State having 15.4% of its overall population having taken coronavirus tests. He also noted how all 24 jurisdictions in Maryland met the original goal of testing 10% of each respective jurisdiction's population, with many having surpassed that goal significantly.

But St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles counties all still are behind the statewide testing average for their populations.

Calvert County is currently ranked second-worst in the state for getting its population tested, having just barely met the governor’s benchmark by testing 10.2% of its residents.

In Charles, they are somewhat more on par with St. Mary’s having tested 12.3% of their county population. In St. Mary’s, the highest testing rate of the three counties still sits at 12.4% or 19th out of the 24 jurisdictions. 

All three currently sit in the fourth and lowest quartile of the data which Hogan’s office released.

It can be noted that St. Mary's County Health Officer Dr. Meena Brewster recently informed the St. Mary's County Commissioners that the county's new goal is to test at least 15% of residents.

Somerset County is currently leading the state in population testing, with nearly a quarter of its residents having been tested for the virus. Somerset is also currently the second least positive jurisdiction with a mere 123 positive cases, only trailing Garrett County which has seen a total of 43 cases.

Looking at the positive case data from Southern Maryland, Charles County, is currently the 8th most infected jurisdiction in the state, with 1,878 positive cases since COVID-19 first struck. St. Mary’s and Calvert have remained along a similar accord with their numbers, falling into the 13th and 15th most positive jurisdictions with 922 and 619 cases, respectively.

Across the state in the past 24 hours, Maryland’s cases have risen by 909. That brings Maryland’s confirmed cases to 90,274 total since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations also declined slightly over the past day, down 39 to 553 citizens currently hospitalized across the state. Unfortunately, seven new COVID-19 related deaths in Maryland were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll up to 3,381.

Looking at the positivity rate across Southern Maryland, Charles County’s rate of 5.09% is currently the only one of the three counties that is above the statewide positivity rate of 4.6% on Aug. 1.

St. Mary’s sat at 4.2%, and Calvert hovered at 4.3% as of Aug. 1.

In addition to Hogan reaching the statewide benchmark, he also reinforced that cases are trending among younger citizens. Specifically citing that “55.8% of today’s new cases are Marylanders under the age of 40.” He also noted that the positivity rate among people under 35 is currently 6.25% across the state.

At a press conference back on July 29, Hogan said that the number one activity that people who tested positive said they had done was attend a family gathering. The second most was people who said they had attended house parties, and the third-highest was people who had reported doing some outdoor activity.

Images throughout article were obtained from the Maryland Department of Health's website.

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