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Maryland reports 906 new coronavirus cases as positivity rate continues decline

Maryland health officials reported fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus cases Sunday for the first time in five days as the statewide positivity rate continues to decrease.

Here’s how Sunday’s metrics break down:

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Cases

The Maryland Department of Health reported 906 new coronavirus cases Sunday, bringing the total number of cases reported throughout the pandemic up to 443,257.

Sunday’s reported total cases broke a four-day streak during which the state reported more than 1,000 new cases per day.

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On average, the state has reported 1,181 new daily infections over the last 14 days.

Deaths

State health officials reported that 13 more people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died, bringing the total number of fatalities to 8,475.

Hospitalizations

As of Sunday, 1,145 people in Maryland were hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, 18 fewer than the day before, according to state health officials.

At least 1,000 people with COVID-19 have been hospitalized due to the disease since March 29.

Testing Positivity

The statewide seven-day average positivity rate was 4.76%, a decrease of 0.11 percentage points compared to Saturday’s reporting and the second day in a row that health officials reported a rate below 5%.

The World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions report a positivity rate of below 5% for two weeks before relaxing coronavirus restrictions.

Nearly 32,000 tests were reported completed in the past 24 hours, with 3.51% coming back positive for COVID-19, according to the state. It’s the fourth day in a row the state’s daily positivity rate — the number of positive tests reported over a 24-hour period — was below 4%, leading to the decrease in the seven-day average rate.

Vaccinations

With nearly 32,000 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines reported administered, state officials said that now a little more than 2.5 million Marylanders have received at least their first dose of a vaccine, or about 41.5% of the state’s population. The two vaccines require a two-dose regimen for people to reach maximum immunization.

In addition, more than 1.8 million Marylanders have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Sunday, or about 30.37% of the state’s population.

In total, the state reported 66,137 new vaccinations Sunday. Of those, 31,955 were the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and another 34,105 were second doses of the two.

The state reported 77 newly administered doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. Maryland health officials announced Saturday that vaccinators could continue to administer the vaccine after federal health officials lifted an 11-day pause while they investigated an unusual blood clot that occurred in about 15 people who’d received the vaccine.

Vaccines by age

State health officials reported that 79.64% of Marylanders 65 or older have received at least their first dose of a vaccine as of Sunday.

In addition, 61.45% of people 50 to 64 have received their first dose as well as 44.54% of people 18 to 49 and 26.11% of 16- and 17-year-olds, according to the state health department.

Vaccines by race

About 2.82 times more white people have been fully vaccinated than Black people in Maryland, according to state data, a proportional disparity that has gradually decreased over the past month. White residents represent about 58.5% of the state’s population and Black residents represent about 31%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state does not have racial data for 232,766 administered doses.

About 93,000 of the state’s Hispanic or Latino residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or roughly 5.31% of state residents who have been fully inoculated where ethnic data was recorded by state officials.

Maryland’s Hispanic population represents about 10.6% of the state’s overall population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state does not have ethnic data for 246,180 administered vaccines.

Vaccines by County

Talbot County, an Eastern Shore county of about 37,000 people where 29.7% of the population is 65 or older, remains the only jurisdiction in the state where more than 40% of residents are fully vaccinated. State health officials reported Sunday that 15,259 residents, or about 41.04% of the county’s population, have been fully inoculated.

Somerset County, south of Talbot County on the Eastern Shore where about 41.5% of its roughly 26,000 residents are black and with a smaller proportion (17.3%) of older residents, reported that 20.47% of its population has been fully vaccinated, the lowest rate in the state.

Prince George’s County, a D.C. suburb of about 909,000 residents, reported that 21.94% of residents have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, the second-lowest in the state. Maryland’s second-most populated jurisdiction has been a focal point for health officials as the majority Black county had spent much of the state’s vaccination campaign ranked last in vaccination rate before recently eclipsing Somerset County.

Baltimore City, which had lagged behind much of the state during the early stages of the state’s vaccination campaign, has now fully vaccinated more than one-quarter of its population as of Sunday, according to health officials.

The state reported that about 25.18% of the city’s population of roughly 593,000 residents has been fully vaccinated.

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