Happy New Year and welcome to our first health update of 2021. With the vaccines here let’s talk about how we’re prioritizing them. Following CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidance, the following groups are in our highest priority category, Phase 1a.
• Health Care Workers
• Public Health
• Long Term Care Facility Residents and Staff at Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, and Group Homes
• First Responders including Fire/EMS, Police, and Sherriffs
• The Judiciary
• And Corrections
It’ll take two to three months to provide both doses of the vaccine to everyone in this Phase. But, we anticipate starting Phase 1b vaccinations in late January or early February. Next week we’ll talk about who’s in Phase 1b.
Right now the case rate is at 50 and rising. Hospitalizations are high and going up. We’re seeing more deaths than we have since the spring. We have to keep limiting our activity, wearing a mask, distancing and washing hands. In just a couple of months we’ll be in much better position. We’ll be through the worst of cold and flu season and we’ll have more people vaccinated. It’s easy to think that because vaccines are here, that everything is ok. It’s not. It’s only when vaccines are in enough arms that we’ll truly be through the worst of it. So stay vigilant.
Remember, stay safe, be kind to yourself and others, and mask up. We’ll see you next week.