Maryland health officials reported 1,483 new cases of the coronavirus and 11 more deaths Sunday as the state continues to average more than 1,300 daily cases over the past two weeks.
As the state prepares to allow all Marylanders ages 16 and older to receive vaccinations through all state providers Monday, Sunday was the fifth straight day of more than 1,200 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Here’s how Sunday’s numbers break down:
State officials have now reported a total of 426,730 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020.
A total of 34,520 tests were completed in the past 24 hours, with 5.07% coming back positive, according to the Maryland Department of Health. Over the past 14 days, the state has averaged about 1,335 new infections per day.
The two-week average of more than 1,300 cases per day is still well below the nearly 3,000 daily case average the state saw in January. However, the infection rate has risen after dipping below 800 in early March. Officials point to young adults as the cause of the latest increase.
Eleven more Marylanders died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of fatalities up to 8,269 people since state officials began tracking the disease in March 2020.
While the state has reported more than 1,000 Marylanders hospitalized due to the disease dating back to March 29, state Health Secretary Dennis Schrader has said the increase appears to be spurred by younger patients who are not as susceptible to severe complications from the coronavirus.
Currently, 279 people are in intensive care units.
The statewide seven-day average positivity rate now stands at 5.41%, effectively flat compared with Saturday’s reported average rate.
The state’s positivity rate has been above 5% since March 28. The World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions be below that mark for at least two weeks before easing social distancing and other restrictions.
Harford County still has the highest positivity rate in Maryland, as health officials reported a seven-day average of 8.86% Sunday. Baltimore City’s seven-day average positivity rate is 5.92%.
State health officials reported that 64,633 shots of the three vaccines were administered to Maryland residents Saturday, a dip from the more than 94,000 shots administered on a record-breaking Friday.
Of those shots, 28,805 were the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which require a two-dose regimen. Additionally, 27,318 were the second dose of the two vaccines and 8,510 were of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As of Sunday, about 22.5% of Maryland residents have been fully vaccinated and roughly 36.8% are at least partially vaccinated.
Vaccinations by age:
The state health department reported about 76.3% of Marylanders ages 65 and older have received at least their first dose of a vaccine as of Sunday.
In addition, 50.8% of residents ages 50 to 64 have received at least their first dose, as well as 33.5% of those ages 18 to 49, according to state health officials.
Vaccinations by race:
About 22.6% of vaccinations have been given to Black Marylanders where racial data is available. The demographic accounts for about 31% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and Black residents have been vaccinated at a disproportionately slower rate than those who are white.
Comparatively, 63.8% of vaccines were given to white residents, who make up about 58.5% of the state’s population. The disparity has slightly decreased over the past month.
The state does not have racial data on 159,943 administered shots.
The data is similar for Hispanic or Latino residents when comparing available data on ethnicity. According to the state, about 5.2% of vaccine doses were administered to Hispanic or Latino residents, who represent about 11% of the state’s population.
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The state does not have ethnicity data (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) for 173,508 shots.
Vaccines by county:
Talbot County continues to lead the state in fully vaccinated residents as health officials reported 32.1% of the Eastern Shore county’s population has been fully inoculated as of Sunday, the only jurisdiction in the state above 30%.
Worcester County comes in second with 29.38% of residents having been fully vaccinated, followed by Howard County in third, with 27.84% of its population having been fully inoculated.
Prince George’s and Charles counties, two majority-Black counties that have lagged behind other jurisdictions in vaccinating residents, continue to have the lowest rates of fully vaccinated residents in the state at 15.1% and 15.7%, respectively.