BALTIMORE (WJZ) – With sub-variant Omicron BA.2 now accounts for nearly a quarter of US COVID-19 casesCounty Executive Steuart Pittman on Tuesday encouraged residents with symptoms to get tested and, if positive, get treatment to prevent an increase in hospitalizations.
Pittman urged anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to “go out and get that work done while we take a lull in between surges, to protect us for the next.”
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The new sub-variant is about 40% more transmissible than Omicron but has the same severity, said Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Anne Arundel County Health Officer.
The county is in a much better place than it was last December at the start of the Omicron wave thanks to the availability of rapid tests, KN95 masks and oral treatments for the virus. like PaxlovidKalyanaraman said.
“So we’re in a different context,” he said. “Obviously we went through the Omicron surge, and unfortunately a lot of people got infected, but that provides some level of immunity, at least in the short term.”
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On Tuesday, the Maryland Department of Health reported 182 new COVID-19 cases. There are currently 175 people hospitalized with the virus, and the statewide positive rate is 1.43%.
Anne Arundel County has reported 23 more cases and two deaths in the past 24 hours, according to to the local health department. The positivity rate in the county is 2%.
Kalyanaraman said Anne Arundel County is ready to deal with any spike in grapefruit intake with basic tools of vaccination, testing, masks for those at high risk and treatment.
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“The message is simple: We have the tools – use them,” says Pittman.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/22/with-omicron-sub-variant-becoming-more-prevalent-anne-arundel-county-officials-say-they-have-the-tools-for-next-wave/ With the Omicron sub-variant becoming more common, Anne Arundel county officials say they have the tools for the next wave – CBS Baltimore