For months Kent County has been able to boast a much lower COVID-19 infection rate than the state — but  Kent’s infection rate is rapidly catching up to the state as the fall surge rages on.

“We had been doing fairly well for awhile compared to the state,” said Kent Health Officer Bill Webb in an interview on Dec. 1. “But we were anticipating it to pick up around this time.”

A week ago Kent County’s COVID-19 infection rate was less than half the state’s rate at 3.07 percent compared to the state’s 6.52.

As of Dec. 1 Kent’s infection rate is now 6.49 and is approaching parity with the state’s infection rate of 7.33 percent.

The last time the state rate was above 7 percent was on May 18. The last time the county was above 6 percent was on May 13.

Webb said that it was imperative that the public adhere to the protocols of social distancing, mask wearing and frequent hand washing. He said he was concerned that Kent could follow other rural counties like Somerset and Garrett where rates have spiked.

“They are every bit as rural as Kent County and their numbers have absolutely jumped off the page,” he said. “Everywhere across the state cases are surging.”

Webb said the new cases in Kent are mostly community spread with significantly less cases coming from nursing facilities, which accounted for a bulk of Kent’s cases early on the pandemic. 

He said he anticipated the numbers to climb even more following the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The number of total cases in Maryland since the beginning of the pandemic climbed north of 200,000 in the last 24 hours.