Health and Fitness

Opioid use, fentanyl deaths spike amid pandemic

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Capital News Service – Preliminary data from 2020 reveals a dramatic increase in deaths linked with opioids in Maryland, particularly fentanyl; health officials blame the pandemic.

The number of unintentional intoxication overdoses — those involving all drugs and alcohol — rose 18.7% to 2,773 in 2020 from 2,379 in 2019, according to data collected by the Maryland Department of Health.

How Maryland is working to vaccinate its homeless population

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A Health Care for the Homeless worker vaccinates a patient on March 12, 2021. Health Care for the Homeless is a Baltimore-based organization working to end homelessness. Photo courtesy of the Maryland Department of Health

Capital News Service – On March 5, 2020, Maryland’s first three positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.

On March 30, 2020, Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order, keeping residents from work or school, and setting in motion a new normal for the state of pandemic-related anxiety to which the world is still accustomed.

On Dec. 11, the Food and Drug Administration approved the administration of the first coronavirus vaccine in the U.S., developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

This month, on April 6, 2021, over a year from when the pandemic began, Hogan announced that all Marylanders over the age of 16 were eligible to receive a vaccine.

While the news gave the state its first true glimpse at a possible return to normalcy, some of the most vulnerable communities are still struggling to gain access to that same hope.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are one such population and are highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a “particularly vulnerable group” for COVID-19.

Get Ovary It: UMD program for free menstrual hygiene products receives student government association funding (VIDEO)

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Students at the University of Maryland created an organization to provide free menstrual hygiene products to the campus community, called Get Ovary It.

When their funding was pulled from the university, the Student Government Association came in to help.

 

 

Baltimore County follows Gov. Hogan’s lead on easing COVID restrictions, city does not

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Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said Thursday that the county will align with Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to significantly ease restrictions on outdoor and indoor dining, and large outdoor gatherings.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott said public health indicators “do not warrant reopening at the governor’s pace at this time.”

Maryland General Assembly targets suicide prevention

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By Darryl Kinsey, Jr. and Callan Tansill-Suddath

Capital News Service – A rise in suicides and concerns about police interactions with those threatening to self-harm have prompted legislation in Maryland that would ease costs for certain treatment and require more training for law enforcement.

Other legislation would require the state to study and track an increase in the number of Marylanders taking their own lives.

Maryland Vaccine Hunters take control of appointment search

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Photo credit: Maryland Vaccine Hunters’ Facebook page.

Capital News Service – Frustrated with the slow rollout, many residents are turning to a Facebook group to hunt down COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

The Maryland Vaccine Hunters group has existed for just over a month but boasts, at publishing, nearly 55,000 members.

Maryland will distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week

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Governor Larry Hogan announced today that Maryland will begin to deploy the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine later this week.

Maryland has been initially allocated 49,600 doses of the J&J vaccine, 100% of which will be sent to providers this week.

Covid-19 Vaccine: The Wait, And The Aftermath

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The state health department says more than 725,000 people in Maryland had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Monday morning. That’s a little more than 12 percent of the state’s population.

Overdose-related deaths increase amid Covid-19 pandemic

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Drug and alcohol-related fatalities in Maryland have increased since the pandemic, and minority communities were hit the hardest, according to a recent report.

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