ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland reported more than 500 new COVID—19 infections for two days in a row. The number of daily new cases is six times greater than what it was six weeks ago.
Hospitalizations increased by seven. There are now 222 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with 164 in acute care and 58 in the ICU.
Newly released internal documents from the Centers for Disease Control reveal the Delta variant is not only much more contagious than all other strains, but also it can be just as easily spread by the vaccinated as the unvaccinated, leaving both with similar viral loads in their nose and throat. It lead to the agency's revised mask guidance that people in areas of high transmission should wear masks indoors in public places.
"It's much, much more contagious than the common cold. It's about as contagious as chickenpox," said Dr. Jonathan Reiner of George Washington University Hospital.
You can read the CDC's new research here.
Here is the Johns Hopkins daily COVID—19 case update:
The amount of virus in the Delta variant is 1,000 times greater than the initial version.
An outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts over the Fourth of July weekend provided new insight into how susceptible even the vaccinated can be. It has been linked to more than 900 cases. 74% of those who caught the virus there were fully vaccinated.
"We are seeing that the ability of individuals who are infected by breakthrough infections—mainly vaccinated people who ultimately get infected—that they are generally without symptoms or minimally symptomatic," said Dr. Anthony Fauci Friday. "However, it is clear that they are capable of transmitting the infection to uninfected individuals. And the data that [the CDC] reported, indicates that if you look at the level of virus in the nasal pharynx of a person who's vaccinated and has a breakthrough infection—and compare that to the level of virus in the nasal pharynx of an unvaccinated person who is infected—they're essentially equivalent. That would go along and underscore the fact that vaccinated people who do have a breakthrough infection are clearly capable of transmitting the infection to an uninfected person."
In Maryland, Cecil, St Mary's, Talbot and Wicomico Counties now have positivity rates above 5%.
Health officials noted the vaccine remains an effective defense against serious illness and still prevents most people from contracting COVID—19.
Another 12,171 Marylanders were vaccinated in the past 24 hours. That includes more than 7,000 new first doses. Those numbers are slightly above Thursday's vaccination rate.
Still, in some Baltimore City neighborhoods, only 3 in 10 people have gotten the shot. This week, Mayor Brandon Scott railed against misinformation about vaccines.
"[People who are] driving a wedge saying that the vaccine and the pandemic are made up are being so irresponsible, and they have to have soul searching in my opinion," Mayor Scott said.
- Coronavirus Resources: How To Get Help In Maryland
- TIMELINE: Coronavirus In Maryland, Tracking The Spread And Vaccinations
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Here are the latest numbers in Maryland:
|Data not available||0||(22)||1*|
By Age Range and Gender
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By Race and Ethnicity
|Data not available||50,903||(19)||1*|
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