'Coronavirus is here to stay': Baltimore doctor says Marylanders must remain vigilant amid recent outbreaks across the country

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-28 12:28:39-04

BALTIMORE — Some Marylanders say they are "concerned" about another COVID-19 outbreak after several states across the country have reported a record number of new cases this week.

On Friday, there were more than 44,000 new cases in the United States, which was a new high for the third straight day.

States such as Texas and Florida, where there's been a record number of new cases, are now rolling back some reopenings to get the virus under control.

"I don’t believe that’s purely reflective, or purely a result of increased testing," said Dr. Gregory Schrank with the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “What also is apparent is that in a number of locations across the country, hospitalizations associated with COVID-19 are also increasing.”

In Maryland, key virus numbers continue to trend down, including hospitalizations. The positivity rate is also below five percent. Dr. Schrank contributes that to the state's measured response to the virus but he added now is not the time for us to let our guards down.

“Certainly a degree of caution that we need to take as we observe what’s going on other states is that we can’t take for granted the fact that right now we are in a much better position in Maryland than we were earlier in the year," he said.

Josh Ford, who lives in Baltimore, said the recent outbreaks scare him and he's worried the same could happen in Maryland. He said that's because he doesn't believe people are taking the virus seriously anymore

“We’ve been seeing people out partying at night on the streets, not wearing masks [and] sharing drinks," Ford said.

Kenneth Hinton, who lives in Baltimore, said these new cases caught his attention as well. He said he's been taking the virus lightly for the past couple of months because of the encouraging numbers, but with the recent outbreaks his feelings have changed.

“The last few days all I’m hearing, [the cases] rising again," he said. "Yeah I’m concerned with that.”

He hopes as Governor Larry Hogan decides on more reopening that it doesn’t put more people at risk.

“I would just hope that our leaders rush to judgement with this thing just to get the economy back going.”

Dr. Schrank said it's important for all Marylanders to remain vigilant and to continue to to take all the recommended measure seriously to stay safe such as wearing a mask, sanitizing and social distancing.

He said the coronavirus isn't going anywhere until there’s a vaccine. Dr. Schrank added this new normal is something we will have to adjust to for a while.

"In order to maintain the degree of safety that we all want for our communities to be able to get out and enjoy the beach, to be able to enjoy the sunshine during the summer, going back to a complete degree of normalcy pre-covid...we are not going to be able to do that," he said.

Dr. Schrank said it's important to remain vigilant, while continuing to keep safety top of mind.