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Testing Remains Key Factor In Fighting COVID-19, Especially During Spring Break

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- For the third day in a row, Maryland has added at least 1,000 new cases and other key metrics ticked up Saturday.

COVID cases climb once again here in Maryland. In the last day more than 1,000 cases were reported for the third straight day as hospitalizations, deaths and positivity rates also rose.

As of Saturday - the state's case count now stands at just over 399,000.

More than 767,000 Marylanders are now fully vaccinated against covid-19.

While the focus has shifted to vaccinations, health experts said now is not the time to forget about the importance of testing as it remains a key factor in fighting this pandemic -- especially while spring break in underway.

"Where we are today is of course much better than where we were a few months ago, particularly over the holiday period," said Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security

And note its too soon to sound the alarm.

"I always caution that we should not get too alarmed at a one week increase, because case numbers fluctuate on a week to week basis," Nuzzo added. "But when we see two or more weeks of case increases, that's when we start to worry."

Governor Larry Hogan visited Annapolis restaurants Saturday to help promote restaurant week and support local businesses.

"So we're just out here to let people know it's safe to be back out and about, but we still want them to keep masks and keep their distance but to get out and start enjoying life again," Hogan said.

The governor also tweeted Saturday that nearly 25 percent of all Marylanders have received at least one shot.

"We've done 2.1 million vaccines already and we're making real progress," he said.

As we head into the warmer months, doctors are urging people to remain vigilant.

"We all have to remember that the majority of us are not yet protected," Nuzzo said. "So we remain vulnerable to infection and unfortunately to the potential for there to be another surge in cases."

Starting Tuesday, Maryland will move into phase 2A of its vaccine distribution plan -- meaning anyone 60 and older will be eligible to get vaccinated.

Hogan said all Marylanders over the age 16 will be eligible for a shot no later than April 27.

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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