COVID spike might show up on the Shore after Labor Day

A sign in St. Michaels reminds visitors and residents of mask requirements, including outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained.

EASTON — Any potential surge in COVID-19 cases from the Labor Day weekend will likely not start showing up until next week.

That is according to Talbot County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley.

Wadley talked about the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual forum hosted Tuesday, Sept. 8, by the Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

Eastern Shore destinations such as St. Michaels, Easton and Ocean City saw large numbers of visitors over the Labor Day weekend.

While local mask mandates remain in place, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s latest COVID-19 order allowed more businesses, including theaters and live entertainment venues, to reopen and others, such as churches and stores, to expand their capacity.

Wadley said possible increases in cases stemming from the holiday weekend would start appearing in Maryland COVID-19 numbers next week. “The average incubation period is four to five days,” Wadley said.

She also said Talbot County is keeping an eye on cases among young people as schools and universities get back in session. Many schools and colleges have started the school year with virtual learning.

Wadley said younger coronavirus patients usually are not prone to longer hospital stays. “If they are in the hospital it is for a very short duration,” she said. The dynamic is easing the strain on hospitals.

Wadley also said Talbot is keeping close tabs on nursing homes after a recent outbreak at a facility in Caroline County.

“Talbot is following nursing homes very closely,” she said.

Talbot County has free COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays for county residents at Easton High School, while Shore Regional Health has testing available to Maryland residents on Mondays and Wednesdays at Chesapeake College.

The latest COVID-19 numbers from the Maryland Department of Health show Talbot County with 497 cases. There are 572 coronavirus cases in Caroline County, 589 cases in Queen Anne’s County, 502 cases in Dorchester County and 277 in Kent County.

The Talbot County Council also is slated to get updates on the pandemic from University of Maryland Shore Regional Health CEO Ken Kozel and Choptank Community Health System COE Sara Rich at its virtual meeting Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Maryland has 113,239 COVID-19 cases statewide with 365 new ones reported Tuesday.

Wadley said the number of new cases is lower than the recent norm of 600 to 700 cases per day and could be because of reporting lags after the Labor Day weekend.

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