Baltimore's COVID-19 Cases Rising: An Update From City Health Commissioner Dzirasa | WYPR

Baltimore's COVID-19 Cases Rising: An Update From City Health Commissioner Dzirasa

Aug 3, 2020

Dr. Letitia DSzirasa is the Baltjmore City Health Commissioner.
Credit Baltimore City Health Department

Today, on Midday with Tish the Commish, an update from Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa on the troubling rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Baltimore, throughout Maryland, and the country.  

Yesterday, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the federal response to COVID-19, painted a somewhat dire picture of the state of virus containment.  She told CNN that what we are seeing today is different from March and April.  She said that the virus is extraordinarily widespread, and that it is affecting both rural and metropolitan areas throughout the country.

The number of cases of COVID 19 in Maryland has climbed steadily in the past several weeks.  Since the middle of July, the State Health Department has reported more than 500 new cases every day.  Over the past week, there have been an average of 933 cases per day -- 175 in Baltimore City alone --  an increase of 31 percent from the average two weeks earlier.    Friday was one of four days last week in which Maryland saw more than 1,000 new cases.  At least 9 new coronavirus deaths and 910 new cases were reported in Maryland on Aug. 2.  As of Monday morning, there have been at least 90,835 cases and 3,515 deaths in our state since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a New York Times database.

The statewide positivity rate hovers at around 5%.  Yesterday, the rate stood at 4.36%.  That’s the number that Governor Larry Hogan is keeping a particularly keen eye on as he makes decisions about restrictions and he adjusts the state’s re-opening schedule.  But it’s higher in the City of Baltimore, and in some neighborhoods, it’s a lot higher.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa joins Tom, via Zoom, with the latest on the city’s effort to mitigate the virus.

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(Tom opens the show today with a salute to the legendary concert pianist Leon Fleisher, who died Sunday at the age of 92.  We'll have a tribute to Mr. Fleisher, a former Peabody Institute instructor, on Tuesday's Midday.)