ANNAPOLIS, Md. — With three out of four adults fully vaccinated in the state, the coronavirus has become an afterthought for many, but not for Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman.
“There’s just no question… there’s no question in my mind and I don’t think in anybody’s mind about whether we’re going to have a fall increase in COVID,” said Pittman. “We will have a fall surge and the fall surge will be unvaccinated people.”
The same variant, which is forcing some areas of the country to mask up and shut down again, is growing in Maryland and hospitalizations and case rates are beginning to tick upwards, in large part, as young people become infected.
“We’re seeing the Delta variant is growing and I’ve been talking about this week on week,” said Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman. “It’s over 40 percent of the cases statewide now and that is going to continue to grow, and that is what’s driving the increasing cases that are happening.”
That’s why the county is still trying to get shots in arms, utilizing churches, libraries and other pop-up clinics mindful that vaccinations not only hold the key to returning to life as normal, but also to sustaining it.
“I don’t want my kids to have to wear masks in school,” said Pittman. “That’s a very controversial issue right now as to whether there will be masks in school and what school will look like and if we want a COVID-free school year and the kind of freedoms that we’re use to in the fall, people are going to have to get vaccinated.”