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Maryland eclipses 4M vaccines as state reports 1,205 coronavirus cases

Maryland’s two-day streak of fewer than 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases ended Wednesday when state health officials reported 1,205 new cases but also announced the state has administered more than 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Here’s the latest numbers from the Maryland Department of Health:

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Cases

After two days of fewer than 1,000 cases, Wednesday’s new reported cases bring the state tally up to 438,789 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020.

The increase comes as the state reported 27,300 completed tests in the past 24 hours, only about 1,600 fewer tests than what was reported the past two days combined.

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Baltimore City continues to have the state’s highest infection rate, with a seven-day average of 37.24 cases for every 100,000 people.

However, the city’s infection rate has been decreasing since Friday, while jurisdictions like Dorchester and Cecil counties have seen their rates increase.

Deaths

The state reported 13 more people died from the coronavirus, bringing the state tally up to 8,419 deaths since March 2020.

Hospitalizations

There were 1,279 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, three fewer than Tuesday. More than 1,000 people have been hospitalized with the disease since March 29.

Positivity Rate

The statewide seven-day average positivity rate is now at 5.28%, down from 5.4% Tuesday.

The state’s average positivity rate has been at 5% or above since March 28. The World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions get under a 5% average positivity rate for at least two weeks before relaxing social distancing and business capacity restrictions.

As of Wednesday, Dorchester County has the highest seven-day average positivity rate in the state at 8.71%, according to state health officials.

Vaccinations

Vaccine clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers reported administering 78,273 doses of the various coronavirus vaccines, pushing the state over 4 million.

Of those, 38,805 were the first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, which require a two-dose regimen, and 39,219 were second doses of the two vaccines.

The state reported an additional 249 administered doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, likely to be doses reported late to state health officials after federal officials paused its administration last week as they investigate rare blood clotting found in six people who received that vaccine.

About 1.69 million people, or nearly 28% of Maryland’s population, has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Wednesday. In addition, about 2.38 million people, or about 39.4% of the state’s population, has received at least their first dose of vaccine.

Vaccines by Age

As of Tuesday, 78.73% of Marylanders 65 or older have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, according to the state.

Additionally, 58.61% of state residents 50 to 64 have gotten at least their first shot as well as 41.44% of people 18 to 49 and 20.57% of 16- and 17-year-olds.

Vaccines by Race

About 2.7 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. White people, who make up about 58.5% of Maryland’s population, compared with Black people, who represent about 31% of Marylanders.

Also, Hispanic or Latino residents have received about 5.8% of all administered vaccines where the recipients’ ethnicity was known as of Sunday but represent about 11% of Maryland’s population.

Vaccines by County

Howard, Kent, Talbot and Worcester counties remain the only counties in the state where more than 30% of their populations have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, 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, leads the state with nearly 38.64% of residents having been fully inoculated.

Meanwhile, counties with substantial Black populations in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore continue to lag behind the rest of the state.

Somerset County, a rural Eastern Shore county of about 26,000 people where about 41.5% of the population is Black, has the state’s lowest rate of fully vaccination at about 19.3% of residents.

Prince George’s County — a majority-Black county and Maryland’s second-largest jurisdiction with about 909,000 residents — has the second-lowest rate, with health officials reporting Tuesday that 20.1% of the county’s population has been fully inoculated.

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