May 4—Harford County's COVID-19 positivity rate dipped below the state average for the first time since mid-January as the county continues to see its metrics improve.
The county positivity rate, which measures the number of COVID-19 tests taken in the jurisdiction that come back positive, dipped to 3.61%, according to the data reported Tuesday.
That's the lowest the rate has been since before Halloween and continues a month-long decline since it peaked over 10% at the beginning of April — at that point the worst among Maryland's 24 jurisdictions.
New cases have also continued to drop, with the seven-day average case rate at 11.61 per 100,000 people, according to Tuesday's data. That's also below the state average of 13.04 and a significant improvement from the 34.95 cases per 100,000 reported April 1.
County Health Officer Dr. David Bishai previously attributed the improvements to people curtailing risky behavior — attending large gatherings indoors and not adhering to masking guidelines — but also to improved vaccination rates in the county.
As of Sunday, the Harford County Health Department reported that more than 116,819 county residents had received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, representing about 46% of the population.
Over 27,400 people had received their first does within the seven days prior to May 2, more than 10% of the population.
ZIP codes in Edgewood and northern Harford continue to have the lowest vaccination rates, according to the latest data.
About 9% of Edgewood's population received their first dose in the past week, with 31% of people in the 21040 ZIP code vaccinated as of Sunday.
In northern Harford ZIP codes of 21132 and 21160, just 7.5% and 6.6% of the population, respectively, received their vaccine in the last seven days, according to the data. The overall vaccination rates there are 32% and 29%, respectively.
Vaccine appointments are available this week at St. Ignatius Church in Forest Hill and the Woodbridge Center in Edgewood, and walk-ins will also be welcome on Wednesday in Forest Hill and Friday in Edgewood.
For an appointment, go to marylandvax.org. Anyone without a computer or who needs help registering can call 410-838-1500, then press 4.
Appointments for the mass vaccination site at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen can also be made at massvax.maryland.gov or by calling 1-855-MD-GOVAX. The site also accepts drive-through patients without an appointment, Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Health Department is also having a Facebook Live event Wednesday from 6:30 to 7 p.m. featuring a panel discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine. It can be viewed at facebook.com/HarCoHD.