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Maryland continues to show declines in key coronavirus statistics: hospitalizations, positivity rate

Maryland officials reported Sunday that the state has confirmed 396 new cases of the coronavirus and 12 more deaths, a significant decrease in both categories compared with Saturday’s totals.

Sunday’s additions bring the state’s total to 61,701 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and 2,811 people who have died due to the disease or complications from it.

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Compared with Saturday, Maryland saw drops in several statistics officials say are important for deciding when to lift social distancing measures and restrictions on businesses as the state continues to see a decrease in the rate of positive COVID-19 tests.

As of Sunday, 751 people in Maryland are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, a decrease of 48 patients compared with Saturday, marking the 18th consecutive day the state has seen hospitalizations drop.

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The statewide testing positivity rate is at 6.72% as of Sunday, a very slight decrease compared with Saturday’s rate of 6.77%. The 396 newly diagnosed cases are also just a little more than half of Saturday’s totals, when 692 cases were confirmed.

While the state has seen steady decreases in a number of areas, there is still dispute as to how quickly Maryland should reopen certain businesses and allow for large crowds to gather. Hundreds of people are still being diagnosed daily in Maryland, and the United States is still reporting close to 1,000 deaths a day.

While Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a plan Wednesday to lift restrictions on several businesses and gathering areas over the next couple of weeks, his top health adviser, Dr. Tom Inglesby, said it could erase progress on containing growth of the coronavirus.

Prince George’s and Montgomery counties continue to lead the state in total cases, with 17,326 and 13,607, respectively, representing a little more than half of all confirmed cases in the state.

While the two counties continue to see higher positive testing rates than other counties, they’ve also seen their rates decrease at a similar pace as the rest of the state since May. As of June 12, Prince George’s County has a positivity rate of 10.51% and Montgomery County was at 8.52%.

The state’s Hispanic population continues to contract the disease at a disproportionately high rate compared with other demographics.

More than a quarter of all confirmed COVID-19 cases, 16,738, were from Latino patients, despite the fact that they represent 10.4% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This also does not account for the fact that the state does not have demographic data on about one out of every six diagnosed cases.

The 20783 ZIP code — which includes parts of Hyattsville, Adelphi and Langley Park in Prince George’s County and is majority Hispanic, according to censusreporter.org — leads the state in total cases with 2,106 as of Sunday.

Black Maryland residents continue to lead the state in total COVID-19 cases, with 17,692 as of Sunday, despite the fact that they represent 30.9% of the state’s population.

For comparison, state officials have confirmed 12,022 cases of COVID-19 in white patients, who constitute 58.8% of Maryland’s population.

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