Aug. 13—CUMBERLAND, Md. — While Allegany County moved from high to medium on this week's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 community spread index, the virus remains an ongoing public health threat, the agency said.
The CDC's weekly update listed COVID-19 community levels as low in Garrett County and medium in Washington County.
"Rapid identification of emergent variants necessitating a shift in prevention strategy makes continued detection, monitoring, and characterization of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants essential," the CDC said via press release. "Incorporating actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 into long-term sustainable routine practices is imperative for society and public health."
When the COVID-19 community level is medium or high, folks at high risk of getting very sick should wear a well-fitting mask or respirator when indoors in public.
"If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick, consider testing to detect infection before contact and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them," the CDC's website stated Friday.
State, local numbers
The Maryland Department of Health on Friday reported 1,940 new COVID-19 cases, six additional deaths and seven more hospitalizations across the state.
The daily COVID-19 case rate was 11.05% statewide, 15.07% in Allegany County, 14.17% in Garrett County and 7.42% in Washington County.
The seven-day moving average COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 people was 25.83 statewide, 39.76 in Allegany County, 17.23 in Garrett County and 29.04 in Washington County.
Frostburg State University updated its COVID-19 guidance due to this week's lowered community level of the virus, Nicole McDonald, the school's assistant vice president for marketing and communications, said via email Friday.
"As always, we encourage personal responsibility for your health and the safety of those around you," she said. "You can learn more by visiting the CDC website. We will continue to monitor local health conditions, communicate with the Allegany County Health Department and follow CDC recommendations."
Allegany College of Maryland no longer requires individuals to wear face masks indoors in the presence of others.
"While masks are optional at ACM, we are always recommending use during times of high transmission," ACM's website stated. "Some may elect to wear a mask on campus. Please be respectful of others with differing opinions."
For more information
To learn more about COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in Allegany County, call 240-650-3999 or visit health.maryland.gov/allegany/Pages/Home.aspx.
In Garrett County, call 301-334-7777 or 301-895-3111, or visit garretthealth.org.
Teresa McMinn is the Digital Editor for the Cumberland Times-News. She can be reached at 304-639-2371 or email@example.com.