A large increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County, and the county’s high positivity rate, has been attributed to an outbreak among workers at a Kennedyville wholesale nursery.
On Wednesday, March 17, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) was informed by Choptank Community Health System that 53 employees had tested positive for COVID-19 at Angelica Nurseries in Kennedyville, according to a KCHD statement posted Friday to Facebook.
Another 25 have been exposed but had tested negative, according to the statement. Five individuals had been hospitalized; two had been released.
“Angelica Nurseries has been working closely with KCHD and a multi agency team of healthcare providers to respond to the situation,” William Webb, Kent County’s health officer, said in the statement. “Management has been fully cooperative and engaged in addressing the healthcare needs of their employees and the risk this poses to the community.
“Their leadership has been receptive to the guidance offered by the Kent County Health Department, the Maryland Department of Health, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, and Choptank Community Health.”
The Kent County Health Department has delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection supplies, and is assisting the business with implementing enhanced safety protocols.
At this time, contact tracing indicates that the outbreak is contained to those residing on the grounds of Angelica Nurseries or its affiliated properties.
“I implore our community to continue to take this virus seriously and be vigilant to prevent its spread,” Webb said. “Continue to wear your mask, maintain at least six feet of distance, wash your hands frequently, and get the vaccine when it is your turn.
“We have been at this for a year and I know we are all tired of this message, but now is not the time to let down our guard.”
For more information, visit:
• Maryland Department of Health: covidlink.maryland.gov
• Kent County Health Department (kenthd.org): Testing offered Tuesdays by appointment, call 410-778-1350.