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Maryland reports 1,169 COVID cases and 17 more deaths as Baltimore continues to lead in per capita case rate

Maryland health officials reported 1,169 new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, the sixth consecutive day the state has recorded at least 1,000 new infections as Baltimore City continues to lead the state in its per capita case rate.

Here’s how some key metrics looked as of Sunday:

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Cases

State health officials have reported 436,028 total cases of the coronavirus since March 2020 and more than 23,000 cases since the beginning of this month.

Over the past two weeks, the Maryland Department of Health has reported about 1,336 cases per day, a far cry from the peak average of 2,949 daily cases reached during the winter surge in January, but it is an increase over the lowest 14-day average of 765 daily cases recorded earlier this year after that surge.

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Baltimore hot spot

Baltimore City continues to lead the state in cases per 100,000 people as health officials have theorized that a rise in cases in the jurisdiction has been led by the prevalence of more contagious virus variants and a lack of caution from people in the city.

According to the state, the city has a seven-day average of 41.79 cases for every 100,000 people, nearly double the statewide rate of 21.97 cases during that same period.

Baltimore County is also outpacing the statewide average, as the jurisdiction has averaged 33.55 cases for every 100,000 people over the past week, according to state officials. It is the second-highest rate in the state as of Sunday.

The two jurisdictions are tied for the most cases reported over the past 24 hours with 219 each and their combined totals represent about 37.47% of all cases reported, despite representing only about 23.5% of the state’s overall population.

Deaths

According to the state, an additional 17 people were reported dead due to the coronavirus, raising the total to 8,376 fatalities.

Hospitalizations

An additional 42 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, according to the state, bringing the total up to 1,252 patients. It’s the largest single-day increase in patients recorded by the state since April 4, when health officials reported an increase of 67 patients.

The state has reported at least 1,000 people hospitalized with the coronavirus dating back to March 29.

Testing positivity

The statewide seven-day average positivity rate is at 5.61%, down 0.11 percentage points compared with Saturday’s reported rate.

According to state health officials, 33,162 tests were completed in the past 24 hours, with 4.26% of tests coming back positive.

Maryland has reported a seven-day average positivity rate at 5% or above since March 28. The World Health Organization recommends that jurisdictions reach an average positivity rate of below 5% for at least two weeks before relaxing social distancing and business capacity restrictions.

Vaccinations

The state reported 56,507 more vaccinations Sunday, including 32,739 first doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and 23,544 second doses.

A little more than 1.6 million Marylanders have now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by receiving their second dose of either of the two-dose-regimen vaccines or by receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The use of the Johnson & Johnson product has been suspended in Maryland and many other states while federal health authorities investigate the emergence of six cases of rare blood clots among the roughly 7 million recipients of that vaccine nationwide. Still, Maryland health data continues to reflect Johnson & Johnson doses being administered, with 224 new vaccinations reported Sunday.

Statewide, about 2.29 million people have received at least their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Modern vaccines, according to health officials.

Vaccines by age:

The state health department reported that 78.17% of Marylanders 65 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine as of Sunday.

In addition, 56.76% of those 50 to 64 have gotten at least their first shot as well as 39.46% of people 18 to 49 and 17.17% of 16- and 17-year-olds.

Vaccines by race:

About 2.73 times more white Marylanders have been vaccinated compared with Black residents when accounting for available racial data, a disparity that has decreased over the past month.

In March, the difference was as high as 3.8 times the number of vaccinated white people, who make up about 58.5% of Maryland’s population, compared with Black people, who represent about 31% of Marylanders.

The state does not have racial data available for 191,199 administered vaccines.

Also, Hispanic or Latino residents represent about 11% of Maryland’s population but have received about 5.65% of all administered vaccines where the recipients’ ethnicity was known as of Sunday, according to health department data.

The state does not have ethnicity data (Hispanic versus non-Hispanic) for 203,736 administered vaccines.

Vaccines by county:

Howard, Kent, Talbot and Worcester counties are still the only counties in the state where more than 30% of their populations have been fully vaccinated, according to state health department data.

Talbot County — an Eastern Shore jurisdiction of roughly 37,000 people where 29.7% of the population is 65 or older, a little less than double the statewide average of 15.9% — leads the state with 37.18% of residents having been fully inoculated as of Sunday.

Worcester County — another Eastern Shore county where about 28.2% of its roughly 52,000 residents are 65 or older — comes in second with 33.94% of residents having completed their vaccination regimen.

Howard County — the state’s sixth-most populated jurisdiction of about 326,000 residents and where only 14.3% of residents are 65 or older — comes in third with 32.28% of residents having been fully inoculated.

Kent County — the state’s smallest jurisdiction with about 19,000 people and 27.1% of residents 65 or older — comes in fourth with 30.49% of residents fully vaccinated.

Prince George’s County — a majority-Black county and Maryland’s second-largest jurisdiction with about 909,000 residents — still has the lowest proportion of residents fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, with health officials reporting Sunday that 18.76% of the county’s population has been fully inoculated.

Somerset County comes in second to last as health officials reported that about 18.91% of roughly 26,000 residents who live in the rural Eastern Shore county have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

The only other county below a 20% fully vaccinated rate is Charles County, another majority-Black county where health officials are reporting that about 19.9% of its roughly 163,000 residents have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

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