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COVID In Maryland: Over 1.5K New Cases, Positivity Rate Up

Maryland adds 1,552 coronavirus cases and nine deaths as hospitalizations are down but the state’s positivity rate is up Wednesday morning. There are currently seven less people hospitalized since Tuesday, now at 1,236. Of those, 283 people are in ICU beds and 953 are in acute care. The state’s positivity rate moved up by .16% to 5.69%. The state conducted 29,641 coronavirus tests in the last day. Since the pandemic began in the state there have been 430,351 confirmed COVID-19 cases. At this time, 8,307 Marylanders have died.

Harford parents say schools are teaching ‘critical race theory,’ but officials stress ‘culturally responsive teaching’

Harford County Public Schools has not incorporated the controversial “critical race theory” into its curriculum or professional development for staff, officials said earlier this week in response to criticism from parents and other community members. It is, however, using another program with the acronym CRT — “culturally responsive teaching” — in its efforts to address issues of racial inequity in the school system.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Maryland allocates $50M to help move some State Center offices downtown

A plan to relocate state agencies from State Center to new offices downtown got a $50 million boost by the Maryland General Assembly in a late-session budget move. The funds represent the latest chapter in a long-running drama over the fate of the aged State Center complex in Midtown. The complex was once in the spotlight for a $1.5 billion private redevelopment, with state offices leased back to the state — a plan spiked by the Maryland Board of Public Works in 2016 after Gov. Larry Hogan deemed it “disastrous.”

COVID cases drop among Carroll County Public Schools students, staff members

The number of COVID-19 cases inside Carroll County Public Schools buildings dipped by nine this week after having gone up the past two weeks. The CCPS data dashboard, which tracks cases of the coronavirus among students learning in person and staff members, showed that 88 people — 12 staffers and 76 students — have the virus this week. That’s three fewer staffers and six fewer students than last week, a decrease of more than 9% overall. The dashboard also showed that 215 people, including 205 students, have COVID-like symptoms, which is 16 more than last week.

UMD to hold outdoor commencement for Spring 2021 graduates

The University of Maryland, College Park Wednesday announced plans for in-person, outdoor commencement exercises May 21 at Maryland Stadium. In collaboration with Prince George’s County, plans for commencement prioritize safety while celebrating the success of graduates amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will also be streamed live at commencement.umd.edu.

Gov. Hogan, Mayor Scott Concerned About Loss Of Vaccine Trust Due To Johnson & Johnson Issues
Dharma Gonzalez is thankful she was able to get an appointment at M&T Bank Stadium Wednesday following the pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccines to investigate cases of rare blood clots. “I was originally supposed to get Johnson & Johnson actually,” Gonzalez told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “They emailed me saying they needed to reschedule, but at that point, I had already gotten this [appointment].” She received Pfizer. Still, she has confidence in Johnson & Johnson.
Read More: WJZ
Covid-19 Vaccine Bottle Mockup (does not depict actual vaccine).
Md. Health Agencies Scramble to Pull J&J Vaccines; Vax Equity Initiative Coming to Baltimore

Maryland health departments are canceling Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine appointments, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation that it be put on hold because of safety concerns. After six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in people who received the J&J vaccine, the FDA and CDC recommended pausing clinics that are administering it.

COVID In Maryland: More Than 1K New Cases Added As Hospitalizations Continue To Increase

Maryland will not provide the Johnson & Johnson vaccination after the CDC and FDA recommended a pause due to clot concerns Tuesday. This comes as Maryland added 1,084 new COVID-19 cases Monday with 14 more deaths. The state has recorded 428,799 cases since the beginning of the pandemic and 8,298 deaths. Hospitalizations stand at 1,243, up 10 from the Monday. Of those, there are 275 in ICU beds and 968 in acute care. The state’s positivity rate went down slightly, now at 5.53%.

Read More: WJZ-TV
A record number of fatal overdoses ravaged Maryland in 2020, ‘exacerbated’ by COVID pandemic, report shows

More than 2,700 people in Maryland died from drug and alcohol overdoses last year, the most ever recorded in a single year as fatalities jumped during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new state report. A report released Tuesday by Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center shows that 2,773 people died to drug and alcohol overdoses, 394 more than in 2019 and 376 more than the previous record set in 2018, when 2,406 people died from overdoses.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore among five cities tapped for Rockefeller Foundation’s $20M vaccine equity pilot

The Rockefeller Foundation is investing $20 million in a new initiative focused on improving Covid-19 vaccine access and equity that is set to roll out in Baltimore and four other pilot cities. The foundation’s new Equity-First Vaccination Initiative is aimed at closing vaccination gaps among communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative will be piloted in Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Newark, New Jersey, and Oakland, California.

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