Garrett Regional Medical Center, Garrett County Emergency Services, the Garrett County Health Department, and other local health care organizations continue to work with each other to organize response efforts amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Garrett County continues to see high COVID positivity testing rates, with 13.1% of those tested receiving a positive result as of January 3rd. The county’s rate of fully vaccinated citizens continues to slowly increase, but only 53.4% of the population over age 12 is fully vaccinated at this point, according to statistics compiled by the Garrett County Health Department. While vaccines do not completely prevent COVID, they do lessen the severity of the illness in breakthrough cases and greatly reduce the need for hospitalization.
Garrett Regional Medical Center continues to see a large demand for monoclonal antibody infusions for patients testing positive for COVID. The hospital’s Emergency Department is seeing higher volumes of patients for these treatments as well as patients suffering COVID symptoms and illness. In addition, the hospital continues to see higher than normal admission rates due to both COVID and seasonal illnesses and conditions.
Hospitals throughout the region are also experiencing higher volumes in both the ED and admissions, including larger medical facilities that offer more specialty services. This situation has created delays in the transfer of patients in need of higher levels of care, because the larger facilities have few available beds.
“Most of us will agree that we’re tired of talking about COVID but local organizations have been working tirelessly to assemble the most local, state, and federal resources possible to combat this concern,” said Paul Edwards, Chair, Board of Garrett County Commissioners. “As a result of these efforts, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are readily available in Garrett County."
The County Commissioners have been and continue to advocate personal responsibility during this unique public health emergency. Also, the County and the County Health Officer continue to communicate the Governor’s Executive Orders and personal responsibility actions to the public.
“I’d like to remind you that COVID is prevalent in our county and local health organizations continue to share the precautions you can take to prevent sickness,” said Edwards. “Garrett Regional Medical Center continues a fantastic job in meeting our community needs.”
There also is no anticipated lapse in emergency response capabilities from local rescue squads or fire departments or longer than normal response times to calls for service.
For community members with medical questions regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please utilize the Garrett County Health Department website https://garretthealth.org/coronavirus or telephone hotline at 301-334-7698.