EASTON — Talbot County has seen nearly 100 new coronavirus infections during the past 10 days — making the county’s total confirmed case count 317 with 130 active cases, according to state health data.
Of the county’s more than 300 residents who are confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus to date, 34 have required hospitalization and 180 have recovered, the county health department reported Monday, July 27.
While the infection numbers are continuing to rise in Talbot, coronavirus-related hospitalizations of county residents have stalled. During the past four days since Thursday, July 23, the county did not report a single new hospitalization, according to local health department data.
County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley has attributed the stalling of hospitalizations in Talbot to the county’s newest infections being reported among residents between the ages of 20 and 40. She said this age group is seeing more infections because they’re “often on the front lines, working in positions where they come into contact with the public” and they’re “more likely to be out socializing after hours and on weekends.”
Younger individuals, Wadley and other health officials have acknowledged, generally do not experience the deadly or most severe symptoms that can occur in patients who are fighting COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
When compared to more populous jurisdictions in Maryland, Talbot’s infection count remains low while its testing rate remains among the highest in the state. Talbot is the fifth-most tested jurisdiction in Maryland and the fifth least-infected, according to state data.
Among the Mid-Shore’s five counties, Talbot is the second least-infected — behind only Kent County, which has reported 229 cases to date.
These data are worth noting because they show that Talbot’s case count remains comparatively low despite the county having tested more of its population than many other counties, including its four neighboring Mid-Shore counties.
State data show nearly 6,700 Talbot residents have been tested for the coronavirus to date. By comparison, Dorchester County has tested roughly 6,500 residents, Queen Anne’s 6,200, Caroline 4,800 and Kent 3,800.
The Easton High School test site has provided nearly 1,200 of those more than 6,000 tests among Talbot residents since it began operations eight weeks ago on Monday, June 8.
The drive-through site remains open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tests are available exclusively to Talbot County residents by appointment only. The phone number to call to schedule an appointment at the EHS site is 410-819-5632.
Tests come at no out-of-pocket cost to the individuals getting tested, but insurance will be billed for those who are insured. If a person does not have insurance, their test costs will be covered using funds allocated to the county through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Test results turnaround has varied during the past several weeks due to increased demand for tests and labs being ill equipped to handle the load — but the Talbot health department reported as of Wednesday, July 22, the wait time for results is approximately three days.
In response to the increased demand, a new multi-county testing site is expected to open next week on Monday, Aug. 3, at Chesapeake College, according to a recent health department press release. Details about operations at the emerging site have not yet been made public.