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Expert: Positivity does not give a complete picture of the overall health of the region



Although the degree of positivity of COVID-19 continues to move in the right direction in the region, a public health expert said that these figures are not all that seems.

Although the degree of positivity of COVID-19 continues to move in the right direction in the region, a public health expert said that these figures are not all that seems.

Maryland announced that the daily percentage of positive tests has dropped to record levels in the last few days – to 3.23%.

Dr. Joshua Scharfstein, vice dean for public health and community engagement at Bloomberg School’s Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, said one number doesn’t show the whole picture.

“Maryland has a relatively low percentage of positive results, but identifies many cases, about 1

,000 a day,” says Scarfstein. “It’s a big number for the state of Maryland – it’s more than identifying Virginia, and Virginia is a bigger state.”


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In some areas of Maryland, such as Baltimore, there has been a jump in cases. Scharfstein also noted that the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maryland has recently increased.

“I think the situation in Maryland is: We’re coming down from a very high peak, but we’re still seeing a lot of transmission and we’re not clear at all,” he said.

As for Northern Virginia, there is a slightly higher positive rate, 6%, but a lower number of cases are found. But he points out that there is also an increase in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Virginia.

Scharfstein said the picture in DC is better.

“The number of cases is lower, hospitalizations have decreased and are on trend, and the positive rate is low,” he said. “All indicators look a little better than before.”

The area has had a positive rate of about 3% for more than a month, reaching a plateau at first glance. Scharfstein believes this has something to do with the neighbors.

“The challenge for DC is that it is located in a region and there are a lot of viruses in the region,” Scharfstein said. “You really won’t expect DC to be remarkably low until you see those higher rates in Virginia and Maryland.”

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