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Maryland’s confirmed coronavirus cases increase by 736, a slight decline from Friday’s new cases

Maryland has added 736 confirmed cases of the coronavirus Saturday, state officials announced, bringing the state’s total to 12,308 and a total of 463 fatalities.

The number of deaths increased by 38 since Friday. The state also said there have been a total of 71 deaths of those who probably died from the COVID-19 illness caused by the novel coronavirus but whose cases have not been confirmed by a laboratory test. More than 53,000 Marylanders have tested negative for the disease, according to the state’s report.

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State officials said 771 people have been released from isolation.

The number of new cases represents a slight decline from Friday, when 788 new cases were confirmed.

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Baltimore City officials also announced Saturday the first death of a city employee due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Michael Baptist, a contract services specialist in human resources at the Baltimore Police Department, died Friday evening, according to a city news release. He had been with the department since 1971 as a sworn officer. After retiring as a sergeant, Baptist eventually rejoined the department as a civilian investigator.

“Our hearts are extremely heavy as we all work to process the passing of Mr. Baptist,” Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said in a statement. “On behalf of the residents of Baltimore, I offer sincere condolences to his family, loved ones, and members of the Baltimore Police Department. Mr. Baptist was a dedicated public servant, who decided to spend his well-earned retirement in further service to our City.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan cautioned Friday that the state has not yet reached a peak of cases and deaths.

“We’ve slowed the growth and we’ve blunted that curve, but we are unfortunately on the way up that slide,” the Republican governor said Friday morning during a teleconference with The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. “We believe we are getting close to the peak in the next week or so, but time will tell.”

The state recently began releasing case information by ZIP code. The 21215 ZIP code covering portions of Northwest Baltimore has the highest case count, with 253.

Prince George’s and Montgomery counties continue to outpace other counties in cases, with 3,160 and 2,404 cases, respectively.

The state’s release of racial and ethnic data continues to reveal disparities between groups. Black Marylanders account for about half of the cases and deaths in which race is known. However, African Americans account for just 30% of the state’s population.

While more women have been diagnosed with COVID-19, more men have died from the disease. State health officials said 218 women have died and there have been 37 additional deaths of women who probably died from the COVID-19 illness but whose cases have not been confirmed by a laboratory test. Men have accounted for 244 fatal cases and an additional 34 probable deaths, state officials said. There have been 6,652 confirmed cases among women and 5,656 among men.

Baltimore Sun reporters Nathan Ruiz, Hallie Miller and Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

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