Coronavirus In Maryland: More Than 1.4K New Cases Reported, Hospitalizations Increase Friday

Maryland added 1,457 new coronavirus cases and 16 more deaths as the state's positivity rate continued its rise Friday morning.

Video Transcript

DENISE KOCH: All right, thank you, Mike. Well, the positivity rate continues to climb in Maryland, as the state records another 1,400 positive tests in the last 24 hours. Other metrics also ticking up. And with the holiday weekend upon us, some local leaders are worried that people are becoming too relaxed. WJZ is live tonight and Ava-joye Burnett is in Harford County, which right now has the highest positivity rate in the state. Ava-joye.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Denise, that positivity rate is 9.87%. And to put it all into perspective for you, that is more than two percentage points higher than Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel County. As you mentioned, this will be a holiday weekend. Passover and Easter, and that has officials really concerned. Harford County has the distinction of having the highest positivity rate in the state, 9.87%.

- I wasn't aware of it. I just moved here like two weeks ago.

- It's a little alarming, but I just think everybody needs to wear their mask and continue to do what they're supposed to do.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The county, which once had one of the lowest case rates in Maryland, is now trying to reverse course with a robocall.

- Remember, you can stop the spread by avoiding crowds and following these simple steps.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The state is in a constant race with the virus. More than a million people are now fully vaccinated, but that's less than 20% of the population. And more mass vaccination sites are coming soon, including at the Timonium Fairgrounds next week. But the positivity rate continues to go up. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich wondered if the state opened up too soon.

MARC ELRICH: There are three counties that are in the red zone. We had no counties in the red zone when the governor made his announcement on the 8th.

LARRY HOGAN: We don't think it had anything to do with reopenings. As I mentioned, the worst cases right now are in New York and New England. New York has some of the strictest lockdowns and much, more things are closed there than we have here.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: This time of year, when families usually gather for Passover and Easter, health officials are begging you to think twice.

LETITIA DZIRASA: Every party, every visit to an unvaccinated friend or family member, every time you leave the house without wearing a mask, you're potentially pushing us one step back.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Earlier today, Governor Hogan tweeted that the state set a new single day record for vaccinations. He said more than 76,000 people were vaccinated. Ava-joye Burnett for WJZ.