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COVID-19 Cases Spiking In Baltimore City

Residents waiting for vaccines at the Baltimore Convention Center
Sarah Y. Kim/WYPR
Residents waiting for vaccines at the Baltimore Convention Center

Baltimore City’s COVID-19 case rates are at their highest since winter, according to state and local data. The city’s numbers also are surpassing those of other Maryland jurisdictions.

The city’s latest daily new case count is near 250. That’s comparable to numbers during Baltimore’s winter surge, when Mayor Brandon Scott enforced some of the city’s tightest restrictions.

In March, Gov. Larry Hogan lifted statewide capacity limits, and Scott followed with looser restrictions. City health commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said Baltimore continues to be more restrictive than most Maryland counties, but that citywide restrictions may not be enough. She said that increased travel may be a factor.

“Statewide restrictions would have to be put in place for us to see the impact necessary,” she told WYPR.

Dzirasa said other factors include more contagious variants and “COVID fatigue.” She added that cases are more common now among young city residents, including children.

She also noted that most residents have not yet been vaccinated. Only a third of residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“We're nowhere near herd immunity,” she said. “So we have to keep doing all of the measures that we've been doing to stay safe.”

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.