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Anne Arundel shatters daily record with 271 new coronavirus cases; Pittman says models show overwhelmed hospitals by February

Anne Arundel County health officials are pleading with residents to reassess their actions as coronavirus cases “skyrocket” across the county and state. Johns Hopkins University hospitalization models project Maryland hospitals could be overwhelmed by mid-February, officials said Thursday.

Newly reported data from the Maryland Department of Health shows that Anne Arundel shattered its daily case number Thursday with 271 cases — surpassing the record of 197 set last week. Thursday also saw a new statewide 24-hour case record, with more than 2,900 new infections and at least 1,190 residents hospitalized across the state.

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The statewide seven-day rolling positivity rate is now 7.19%. The additional cases bring the total number of recorded infections in the state since the beginning of the pandemic to 174,733 and the total deaths to 4,220.

Johns Hopkins modeling shows that if the state continues on this trajectory, roughly 15,000 COVID-19 patients will need to be hospitalized in the next few months, County Executive Steuart Pittman said Thursday. The announcement came during a livestreamed meeting with his recovery workgroup, which he said will shift from reopening to figuring out how to stop the virus’s spread. It was the first time the group met in public.

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“We are still in recovery because we’re always planning to recover, and we will,” Pittman said. “(But) nobody is reopening right now; it’s now a question of what needs to get closed in order to push these numbers down.”

He said Maryland hospitals don’t have the capacity for that volume of sick patients, so the only option is to change the virus’s trajectory. Pittman has increased restrictions in Anne Arundel to prohibit more than 10 gathered indoors or more than 25 gathered outside. He also scaled back restaurant and bar capacity to 25%, starting at 5 p.m. Friday.

Pittman and Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman are weighing recommendations from Johns Hopkins, including closing venues that lead to a high number of contacts, such as restaurants, bars and religious facilities. They have pledged increased enforcement of these restrictions but also have said hostility has made that job harder.

Kalyanaraman said they are also preparing public health actions such as establishing a system to provide COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, address concerns about vaccine safety, and focus on equity by targeting interventions in disproportionately affected groups. He also said the county plans to roll out the use of rapid tests in December.

State and county officials have been encouraging people to get tested if they plan to participate in holiday activities.

Ahead of Thanksgiving next week, Kalyanaraman said they’ve seen an increased demand for testing and have added extended hours to some of the county’s testing sites while limiting some to appointments to prevent long lines. He said he’s confident the county has enough tests to meet the increased testing demand around the holidays.

The discussion was livestreamed on Pittman’s Facebook page. The recovery advisory group previously gathered in closed Zoom meetings with the county executive to discuss reopening policy; now, the administration is planning to publicly hold these meetings every other week, likely on Thursday afternoons.

Pittman and his advisers previously said they kept the meetings closed to protect the advice’s integrity and allow candid discussion. Since the group was convened in May, it’s been comprised of council members of both political parties, business advocates, a labor advocate, a representative of the faith community, and the presidents of both Anne Arundel Medical Center and University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

With the group’s meetings going public, Pittman is now rotating the panelists and treating the Zoom meetings as a webinar that includes public comments and questions.

Cases by ZIP codes

Here is an alphabetical breakdown of the number of cases in each ZIP code in Anne Arundel County as of Thursday. 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): 1,013 (1157)
  • Annapolis (21403): 1,027 (1101)
  • Annapolis (21405): 15 (23)
  • Annapolis (21409): 376 (416)
  • Annapolis Junction (20701): 1 (11)
  • Arnold (21012): 415 (502)
  • Brooklyn (21225): 330 (1062)
  • BWI Airport (21240): 0 (N/A)
  • Churchton (20733): 39 (43)
  • Crofton (21114): 443 (524)
  • Crownsville (21032): 150 (200)
  • Curtis Bay (21226): 71 (169)
  • Davidsonville (21035): 112 (125)
  • Deale (20751): 44 (48)
  • Dunkirk (20754): 10 (109)
  • Edgewater (21037): 374 (474)
  • Fort Meade (20755): (97)
  • Friendship (20758): 10 (10)
  • Galesville (20765): 8 (10)
  • Gambrills (21054): 222 (304)
  • Gibson Island (21056): 4 (N/A)
  • Glen Burnie (21060): 973 (1104)
  • Glen Burnie (21061): 1,615 (1729)
  • Hanover (21076): 452 (567)
  • Harmans (21077): 12 (11)
  • Harwood (20776): 44(47)
  • Jessup (20794): 71 (909)
  • Laurel (20724): 669 (713)
  • Linthicum Heights (21090): 255 (298)
  • Lothian (20711): 181 (184)
  • Millersville (21108): 362 (384)
  • Naval Academy (21402): (59)
  • North Beach (20714): 2 (62)
  • Odenton (21113): 708 (742)
  • Owings (20736): 0 (143)
  • Pasadena (21122): 1,412 (1496)
  • Riva (21140): 40 (43)
  • Severn (21144): 903 (961)
  • Severna Park (21146): 510 (589)
  • Shady Side (20764): 53 (55)
  • Tracys Landing (20779): 14 (15)
  • West River (20778): 29 (31)

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