Montgomery County Records Unprecedented Surge in COVID-19 Cases; Hospitalizations Not Rising as Rapidly

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Montgomery County is currently experiencing an unprecedented surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, with more than 5,000 new positive cases reported from December 31 to January 3, writes Emily Rizzo for WHYY.

This is in stark difference from two weeks ago when the county Department of Health reported 942 new cases from December 18 to December 20.

“We have the highest number of cases that we have seen to date during this pandemic,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Dr. Valerie Arkoosh.

However, while hospitals remain full, hospitalization numbers are not increasing as quickly as the positive cases.

“Our hospitals remain busy with increased patient volumes across the board,” said the county’s regional EMS medical director, Dr. Alvin Wang. While some of this is normal for this time of year, “some of this volume is directly related to hospitalizations from COVID-19.”

Arkoosh said that the slower increase in hospitalizations is helping her feel “cautiously optimistic.”

“I would not suggest that we are in any way out of the woods,” said Arkoosh, “but it’s certainly encouraging that we haven’t seen a similar rapid rise in hospitalizations as we’ve seen in cases.”

Read more about the surge in COVID-19 cases in WHYY.

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