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70% increase in COVID hospitalizations in Baltimore

COVID-19
Posted at 9:32 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 06:55:15-05

BALTIMORE — Are you feeling sick? High fevers, cough, sore throat? Well you may want to get tested for COVID as the cases are on the rise.

It's that time of year where we are seeing an uptick in COVID cases and Maryland hospitals are running out of room, almost reaching their full capacity even right here in Baltimore.

"For the acute beds and ICU we are seeing utilization of about 80, 90 percent," said Dr. Tich Changamire, the Chief Medical Officer with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Baltimore.

January is the time of year when COVID-19 cases tend to peak in the hospitals.

"Currently, we have about 250 cases in the hospitals that are COVID related in Baltimore,” said Changamire.

Changamire says this is an increase of about 70% compared to about four weeks ago in the city.

While the number of COVID cases are rising, the number of deaths have gone down.

He says "The number of folks who are dying from the disease amongst those who get infected is not as high as we've seen in the past.”

But it's not just COVID people need to watch out for.

Currently we are seeing a “tripledemic” that is also playing a role in filling up hospitals in Baltimore.

"In the winter season, we get a lot of our respiratory viruses including RSV specifically for kids, we've seen flu cases also going up together with the COVID viruses as well and for some cases we are seeing folks who are coming in with all three at the same time,” the doctor added.

Changamire says if you can, avoid heading to the hospital. Try utilizing other care facilities first.

"Start by calling help lines, do virtual visits and if you are having severe symptoms then definitely go to urgent care and [the] emergency room, and that eases the pressure from the hospitals,” he explained.

To keep you and your loved ones safe from these visits, he says to get vaccinated for COVID and the flu and remember to mask up, wash your hands and keep your distance.

To order free COVID tests by mail click here.

There are also multiple free testing sites within the county and city listed below: