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Maryland reports 867 coronavirus cases, 15 new deaths

Maryland health officials reported 867 new cases of the coronavirus and 15 more deaths Tuesday.

While that marked the state’s second consecutive day with fewer than 1,000 cases for the first time since March 22 and 23, the number of people hospitalized due to the disease rose again. The state’s positivity rate stayed flat, still above 5%.

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Here’s how Tuesday’s numbers break down:

Cases

With the 867 new cases, the state health department has now reported a total of 419,055 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, since March 2020.

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While Tuesday marks the second day of fewer than 1,000 cases, it comes during a significant drop in testing. Health officials reported completing just 12,065 tests — down from the 17,000 reported Monday and 39,000 reported Sunday.

As a result, while Tuesday’s 867 new cases is lower than the average daily count of around 1,200 cases in recent weeks, health officials reported that 8.73% of tests completed Monday came back positive.

Deaths

Health officials reported that 15 more people have died due to the coronavirus, raising the total confirmed death total in Maryland to 8,192.

Hospitalizations

Currently, 1,204 people in Maryland are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, an increase of 39 people since Monday.

State health secretary Dennis Schrader said during a state Senate hearing Monday that while hospitalizations have been on the rise, the majority of patients are being placed in acute care units, pointing to the fact that the growth has been driven by younger adults who are not as susceptible to severe complications from the coronavirus as compared to older and more vulnerable populations.

Positivity Rate

The statewide seven-day average positivity rate is now at 5.8%, effectively flat compared to Monday’s average rate of 5.79%.

Maryland remains above the 5% mark, which the World Health Organization considers a prerequisite to safe reopening, so long as localities can maintain it for two weeks.

Harford County continues to maintain the state’s highest infection rate, a seven-day average of 9.77% Tuesday.

Vaccinations

State health officials reported that 47,945 shots of the three vaccines were administered to Maryland residents Monday, bring the state total to more than 3 million.

Of those shots, 21,226 were the first dose and 21,386 were the second of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which require a two-dose regimen. Additionally, 5,333 were the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As of Tuesday, about 19.02% of Marylanders have been fully vaccinated and 32.92% are at least partially vaccinated by either receiving the first dose of the two-dose vaccines or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson version.

Vaccinations by age

State health officials say about 73.98% of Marylanders ages 65 or older have received at least their first dose of a vaccine as of Tuesday.

In addition, 44.40% of residents ages 50 to 64 have received at least their first dose, as well as 28.45% of those ages 18 to 49, according to the state health department.

Vaccinations by race

As of Tuesday, about 22.21% of vaccinations have been given to Black Marylanders when accounting for available racial data provided by state health officials. 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, 64.54% of vaccines were given to white residents, who make up about 58.5% of the state’s population. The state currently does not have available racial data on 136,131 administered doses.

The data is similar for Hispanic or Latino residents. According to the state, about 4.93% of vaccine doses were administered to Hispanic or Latino residents, who represent about 11% of the state’s population.

The state does not have ethnicity data (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) for 149,837 shots.

Vaccinations by county

Kent, Talbot and Worcester counties — all counties where at least 81% of the population is white and at least 27% of residents are 65 or older — remain the top three counties for full vaccination. As of Tuesday, 27.36% of Talbot County’s population, 24.12% of Worcester County and 23.78% of Kent County are now fully inoculated, according to state health officials.

However, tied for third at 23.78% is Howard County, where roughly 44% of the 325,690 residents are nonwhite.

In areas with large Black populations, vaccination rates continue to lag behind other jurisdictions.

Prince George’s County, where Black residents account for more than 64% of its population of 909,000, continues to report the state’s lowest rate of full vaccination at 12.34%.

Charles County, where more than half of roughly 163,000 residents are Black, has the second-lowest rate of fully vaccinated residents in Maryland, with about 12.76% of residents fully inoculated as of Tuesday.

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