'Crisis is by no means over’: Maryland’s coronavirus death toll reaches 4,000

At least 4,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Maryland since officials began tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in March, according to the latest figures released by the state.

Ten more fatalities were added to Maryland’s coronavirus death toll Saturday, although deaths are not always reported the day they occur.


Gov. Larry Hogan asked Marylanders in a statement Saturday to join him “in a moment of silence for all those we have lost to this deadly virus."

“While our statewide health metrics continue to be below the nation and most other states, this tragic milestone is a sobering reminder that this crisis is by no means over,” Hogan said in a statement.


Young people represent most of the state’s cases, but residents 60 and older account for nearly 87% of the state’s fatalities. Marylanders 80 and older account for 45% of deaths. An additional 147 people have probably died due to COVID-19, but laboratory results to confirm their diagnosis are pending.

Maryland officials reported 967 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, which is the fourth day this week that new cases have exceeded 800. It’s also the third consecutive day of more than 900 new cases. Saturday’s count is also the state’s highest number since Thursday, when 962 new cases were reported earlier in the week.

Hospitalizations also increased by seven to a total of 520. The number of those hospitalized in intensive care remained flat at 126. The state hit its peak number of hospitalizations during the spring — 1,711 on April 30 — but local hospitals say they’re preparing for the worst as cold weather approaches and residents grow increasingly “fatigued” from measures to reduce COVID-19′s spread.

Health officials on Saturday also said Maryland’s testing positivity rate reached 3.77%, up from Friday’s 3.71%. The state counts the seven-day average rate by dividing the number of positive tests by the number of tests taken, so it includes tests repeatedly taken by the same person.

Johns Hopkins, which calculates the positivity rate differently, reports Maryland’s rate is 2.99%, according to its coronavirus resource center.

The World Health Organization advises governments to wait until their jurisdictions experience positivity rates below 5% for 14 consecutive days before easing restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

However, Hogan renewed Maryland’s coronavirus state of emergency on Friday in response to the recent uptick in positivity, daily cases and hospitalizations. Of the more than 3.42 million recorded tests for COVID-19, more than 1.79 million of those results have been negative.

Since March, a total of 145,281 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Maryland as of Saturday. Nearly three-quarters of Saturday’s cases, 72%, came from five localities in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metro region: Prince George’s County (174), Montgomery County (162), Baltimore City (150), Baltimore County (126), and Anne Arundel County (87). Most of the state’s population in lives in those jurisdictions, and these areas have the highest case numbers overall.


Seven of Maryland’s more rural counties have seven-day average testing positivity rates above the statewide 3.77% rate.

According to health officials, Wicomico County (4.17%), Charles County (4.44%), Queen Anne’s County (4.46%), Allegany County (4.47%) and Caroline County (4.55%) are all above the statewide average rate.

Garrett County (5.24%) and Dorchester County (5.58%) are both above the recommended 5% average rate. Dorchester is a jurisdiction with roughly 32,000 people on the Eastern Shore that shares a border with Caroline County, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Breaking News Alerts

As it happens

Be informed of breaking news as it happens and notified about other don't-miss content with our free news alerts.

Dorchester only confirmed 13 new cases as of Saturday, but it was also the first county in the state to scale back learning in classrooms after officials urged schools to reopen. Last week, Dorchester closed its schools amid a spike in cases.

Coronavirus cases are climbing in all but a handful of states amid fears of a hard-hitting flu season ahead. Cities like Baltimore are discouraging gatherings in bars and other locales during Halloween celebrations this weekend.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected Maryland’s Black and Latino populations, which together represent more than half of the total number of infections in the state, despite representing about 40% of the total population, according to census data.


Of roughly 85% of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 cases where information on race was available, 75,419 were found in Black or Hispanic residents.

White residents make up more than 58% of the state’s population, or about 50% when accounting for those who also identify as Hispanic or Latino. White people represent nearly 27% of all confirmed cases with 38,807.

In Maryland, more white people have died from COVID-19 compared with other races, with 1,719 fatalities recorded as of Saturday. That amounts to a mortality rate of about 4.42% for white people, compared with nearly 3.62% of cases among Black people and about 1.483% of cases among Latinos.

The state does not have racial demographic data for 21,520 COVID-19 cases.