Maryland’s Coronavirus positivity rate has prompted some states to require visitors from Maryland to quarantine when visiting.
According to reporting from WBAL-TV 11’s David Collins, Maryland is back on New York state’s list of quarantine states, which means travelers from Maryland who are visiting New York are required to quarantine for 14 days.
The positivity rate matters. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut now consider Maryland a coronavirus hot spot. Maryland travelers visiting those states must quarantine for 14 days.
Maryland travelers landing at New York airports will have to fill out a form or possibly face a $2,000 fine. New York City’s mayor authorized random vehicle checkpoints and ordered hotels to deny room access if travelers from hot-spot states refuse to fill out the form. New York City officials claimed 20% of its cases stem from out-of-state travel.
“Individuals coming from other states continue to be a problem. We know we have 35 high-risk states in this country, which is incredible — Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia have been added. Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands have been removed,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Coronavirus expert Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo at Johns Hopkins University contends using positivity rates as a basis for a quarantine is misguided, saying: “It is inappropriate to use test positivity as the basis for high consequence decisions such as the interstate quarantine as positivity is a measure of how much testing a state is doing and not a direct measure of the level of illness a state is experiencing.”
New York state imposed the quarantine on states that have a 10% positivity rate and above. But that’s not the case for Maryland. Cuomo’s press office didn’t explain the discrepancy.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, the state’s positivity rate is 3.68%. Johns Hopkins University, which uses a different formula, said Maryland’s positivity rate is now 6.23%.
Maryland and John Hopkins use different data sets to calculate the positivity rate. The state determines the rate based on the total number of tests done, which includes repeat tests.
Hopkins calculates the figure by using the number of people who test positive divided by the number of people who are tested. It does not include repeat tests or antibody tests.
The World Health Organization established a 5% positivity rate as a benchmark for easing restrictions.