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Some Marylanders Plan To Take Precautions As COVID-19 Positivity Rate Rises Above 3 Percent

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- For the fourth day in a row, Maryland reported more than 500 new COVID-19 cases and now the state positivity rate is above 3 percent, leading some to say it's time to start being more careful.

"I think that people should really start taking more precautions. Why risk it if you can avoid it?" said Moriah Nkosi of Baltimore.

Three more people died from COVID and 25 more are now hospitalized with it. One doctor said that the rising number of cases is happening at a bad time for Maryland hospitals.

"Right now our hospitals are very full. Most of the hospitals in the state are very full probably because people have delayed their care during the pandemic, and so are now coming in sicker," said Dr. Esti Schabelman, chief medical officer at Sinai Hospital.

Health experts say the more contagious delta variant is behind the rise in cases nationwide and is mostly happening in unvaccinated Americans.

But Daekwon Toles of Baltimore says he's not ready to get vaccinated despite the prevalence of the variant and instead will keep wearing a mask.

"I need more info on what's in it. That's why I still wear a mask. Like, I just got to still stay protected from it," Toles said.

Some who are vaccinated also said they're wearing a mask as well for those around them.

"I wear it just to protect others. I mean, that's the whole purpose of the mask. Even though I am protected, I still want to be respectful of other people," Nkosi said.

Gov. Larry Hogan said there are no plans for a new mask mandate at this time, but Anne Arundel County tomorrow is expected to make a new mask mandate announcement. The Maryland Department of Health announced it will add more data to its vaccine dashboard online and disclose the vaccination status of people who die of the disease.

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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