As daily case counts and hospitalizations rise in Anne Arundel County, health officials say 10% of the population will be tested by weekend’s end, a metric touted by Gov. Larry Hogan to ensure local authorities are administering enough tests and staying on top of outbreaks.
For months, the county has lagged behind nearby counties such as Baltimore and Prince George’s, which have met the 10% metric. County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said the Anne Arundel would reach the benchmark by the Monday.
Anne Arundel County has seen an increase in daily case counts and hospitalizations over the last week. Anne Arundel County added 78 coronavirus cases and no deaths in the past 24 hours, state health data shows. Maryland added 707 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths.
The 10% tested mark is cumulative from the pandemic’s first emergence in March, a measure Anne Arundel County officials say is stale when making health decisions in July.
The county took a different approach to testing when the virus first swept the state. Rather than capturing a larger portion of the population with a drive-thru when tests were limited, public health workers chose to use the handful of available tests on vulnerable populations living in communal housing.
It’s more efficient to set up regular drive-thru sites, like community-based emission inspection stations, than go out in different parts of the community each day and week with pop-up testing, Kalyanaraman said.
“If we’re going out to a homeless shelter or a nursing home, we’re only going to test however many people are there, maybe it’s 25 or 30,” Kalyanaraman said. “It takes just as much time to do that as it does to set up your tent and test 250 people.”
“So your numbers are lower for the given time that you’re putting in, but you’re testing higher-risk individuals. That’s a trade-off we made in the beginning,” he added.
When Maryland received more tests and finally had the ability to test more people, the county didn’t have regular appointment-free hours at the Glen Burnie VEIP station. It also had to staff the location with county health workers without support staff from the state health department, Kalyanaraman said.
Anne Arundel County has made it a priority to test 2% of the population, about 11,600 people, per week, rather than 10% of the population since March. It has yet to meet that goal.
Now that the VEIP site in Glen Burnie can test people without an appointment, in addition to regular testing at the health department’s headquarters on Truman Highway and help from pharmacies, Anne Arundel County has captured 9.4% of its population and is on its way to 10%.
“We made a decision. We’re comfortable with that decision,” Kalyanaraman said.
Numbers released Friday morning show the county now has 5,813 confirmed cases and 203 deaths. Another eight people may have died from the disease, but a lab test was never performed.
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Kata Hall, a spokesperson for Gov. Larry Hogan, said Maryland administered 24,000 tests over the past 24 hours, a record-setting amount of testing for the state.
Across Maryland, at least 896,990 tests have been conducted, an increase of more than 24,000 in the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide rate of positive cases to 4.43%.
Anne Arundel’s rate of positive cases is 3.94%. County health officials have raised the alarm about rising positivity rates foretelling a new surge. Surges in other states have threatened to shut down economies and have killed hundreds of people.
Statewide, 434 people are currently hospitalized with 128 patients in the ICU and 306 patients in acute care.
Anne Arundel cases by ZIP code
Here is an alphabetical breakdown of the number of cases in each ZIP code in Anne Arundel County as of Thursday. This data uses the county’s numbers. State numbers are in parentheses.
ZIP codes that overlap more than one county are in italics. The state numbers also account for cases at congregate living facilities in those ZIP codes, which the county numbers do not include.
The county has said that they remove cases from this data as they determine they are from congregate housing, such as nursing homes or retirement communities, which may also account for discrepancies.
- Annapolis (21401): 497 (558)
- Annapolis (21403): 623 (654)
- Annapolis (21405): 3 (10)
- Annapolis (21409): 92 (113)
- Annapolis Junction (20701): 0 (N/A)
- Arnold (21012): 98 (165)
- Brooklyn (21225): 119 (431)
- BWI Airport (21240): 0 (N/A)
- Churchton (20733): 16 (18)
- Crofton (21114): 111 (159)
- Crownsville (21032): 51 (80)
- Curtis Bay (21226): 20 (47)
- Davidsonville (21035): 31 (34)
- Deale (20751): 15 (13)
- Dunkirk (20754): 2 (35)
- Edgewater (21037): 156 (227)
- Fort Meade (20755): (16)
- Friendship (20758): 2 (N/A)
- Galesville (20765): 1 (N/A)
- Gambrills (21054): 72 (127)
- Gibson Island (21056): 2 (N/A)
- Glen Burnie (21060): 326 (404)
- Glen Burnie (21061): 585 (646)
- Hanover (21076): 164 (209)
- Harmans (21077): 3 (N/A)
- Harwood (20776): 20(18)
- Jessup (20794): 26 (580)
- Laurel (20724): 346 (355)
- Linthicum Heights (21090): 66 (90)
- Lothian (20711): 97 (92)
- Millersville (21108): 105 (105)
- Naval Academy (21402): (8)
- North Beach (20714): 2 (24)
- Odenton (21113): 206 (217)
- Owings (20736): 0 (41)
- Pasadena (21122): 327 (350)
- Riva (21140): 9 (10)
- Severn (21144): 274 (283)
- Severna Park (21146): 119 (140)
- Shady Side (20764): 21 (22)
- Tracys Landing (20779): 5 (N/A)
- West River (20778): 13 (11)