Heading home for the holiday? Get a virus test, colleges say

Jordan Popham, left, performs a rapid COVID-19 test at Weber State University Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

EASTON — The state of Maryland has conducted more than 4 million COVID-19 tests and government officials continue to urge residents to get tested for the virus.

There are now 230 testing sites statewide as fears of the virus, holiday travel and get-together plans along with post-election coronavirus restrictions and warnings propel a surge in tests.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced the state passing the 4 million-test mark on Friday, Nov. 20.

The Maryland Department of Public Health reported there have been 4,039,322 COVID tests conducted since March.

“Over the past eight months, our state has built a COVID-19 infrastructure from scratch, including a successful long-term testing strategy,” said Hogan said in a statement.

The state health agency also reported on Friday that 41,352 new tests were conducted in the previous 24 hours.

That comes after a record 43,893 COVID tests were reported on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Some of the state’s testing has been done in coordination with the government of South Korea as well as part of a 10-state consortium with the Rockefeller Foundation.

The COVID Tracking Project reported there were 1.8 million new daily tests conducted nationwide on Thursday.

The state health agency reported 2,353 new COVID cases across Maryland Friday along with 25 new deaths and 15 new hospitalizations. There have been 4,245 deaths statewide and there are currently 1,207 hospitalizations.

The statewide positivity rate for COVID tests in Maryland is 7.17%.

The World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control — which has warned against Thanksgiving travel because of COVID fears — has set a 5% positivity rate as a key pandemic benchmark.

In Talbot County, the positivity rate for COVID tests is at 5.06% and the case rate per 100,000 residents is 16.52. There were three new cases reported on Friday, Nov. 20, according to the Talbot County Health Department.

There are 52 active cases in Talbot.

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