Kent County Health Officer William Webb reported to the Kent Commissioners on Tuesday, Feb. 9 that trends in COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide are down nearly 30 percent since the “third wave of the pandemic” peaked on Jan. 11.
Webb also pointed to a 43 percent decline in new infections in Kent since his last report to the Commissioners on Jan.12.
On Jan. 12 Webb reported 342 new cases over a two week period but that number had dropped to 192 over a two week period by Feb. 7.
There were six new deaths reported on Jan. 12 compared to seven new deaths reported on Feb. 9.
Webb said the drop in overall cases in Kent over the last month was a positive sign.
“For this wave we are over the hump,”he said.
Webb said there were just 15 new cases reported in the two-week period leading up to Feb. 7, significantly down from the 152 new cases reported in the two weeks leading up to Jan. 12.
He elaborated that Kent had exceeded the state’s positivity rate for a brief period but the rate has returned to a level below the state average and under the five percent threshold established by the World Health Organization and the CDC to more effectively manage the pandemic.
Webb said the most significant metric is the overall decline in the number of cases per 100,000 of population. The rate has dropped to 16 after peaking at 64 on Jan. 11 — “a 73 percent drop.”
“This illustrates that COVID-19 is waning in the community,” he said.
Webb addressed the new COVID-19 variants in Maryland and said the Brazilian variant has not surfaced in the state while the British and South African variants have. He did not report any of these new variants surfacing in Kent.
He said the current vaccines available are effective against the variants, which have higher transmission rates.
“We don’t have hard data on it but…it appears [the vaccines] provide protection against these variants,” he said. He said the current vaccines “target the same proteins on the surfaces of the viruses.”