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Baltimore City's COVID-19 Positivity Rate 29% Higher Than The Overall Rate In Maryland, Health Officer Dr. Letitia Dzirasa Says

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore Health Officer Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said a spike in coronavirus cases in the city cannot solely be attributed to an increase in testing.

"Baltimore city's positivity rate is 29% higher than the overall Maryland positivity rate," Dzirasa said. "So despite testing volume increases across the entire state, including here in the city Maryland's positivity rate has remained steady, while ours is increasing."

People 'Trying To Find Loopholes' To Avoid Wearing Masks, Face Coverings, Baltimore Officials Say

She said despite requiring masks across the city, a week later the data continues to show the same alarming trends.

The mayor expanded the city's mask order last week to include everyone aged two and above when they are inside buildings open to the public. People must also wear their masks outside when they cannot be socially distant.

Yesterday, Gov. Larry Hogan expanded the state's mask order, which will be similar to Baltimore's. It goes into effect on Friday at 5 p.m.

"I keep seeing people complain about masks and asking for exceptions to be made," Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young said. "Let me be clear, COVID is not making exceptions."


In July, the peak seven-day average of cases has been 137. The previous peak was in May at 124.

The positivity rate on July 24 was 6.4%.

"Our data continues to show some alarming trends. As of today, our July peak average number of cases is 137. In our previous peak in May, it was 124," Dzirasa said.


"While the rest of Maryland may be holding steady according to this White House report, Baltimore City is in the yellow zone," she added. "This means that Baltimore is one of a handful of jurisdictions, seeing the early signs of a new surge of cases recommendations to address the rise in cases include non-pharmaceutical interventions, like the restriction of indoor dining and mandatory masking."

Dzirasa continued to ask residents to wear masks even when they are outside if they cannot social distance.

"Put simply, if you are outside of your home keep a covering somewhere on you at all times," she said. "If you are close enough to say hello to someone else while you're out, you should be wearing a face covering."

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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