As Maryland’s tally of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus continued to climb Tuesday, New York added Maryland to its list of states under its quarantine travel advisory.
Under the advisory, Marylanders must self-isolate for two weeks and get a coronavirus test if they are visiting New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.
New York’s decision reflects the recent resurgence of coronavirus cases in Maryland, where officials reported 860 more Tuesday. The day’s tally means the state has added at least 700 new COVID-19 infections six of the past eight days. It surpassed that mark only once between June 7 and July 13.
The rise brings Maryland’s infection total to at least 79,545. Over the previous 14 days, Maryland has reported an average of 654 new cases of the virus each day, compared to 385 during the prior two weeks.
More new cases are being reported on average than there were at the same point in June, with a 14-day average of 452 cases on June 21, but the increasing caseload remains well below the average daily count of 1,011 in the two weeks leading to May 21.
The increase caught the attention of public health officials in New York, which was hard hit early in the pandemic and aims to avoid a repeat.
“It’s only a matter of time, in my book, until you see the New York infection rate go up because people from the other states are coming to New York,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a call with reporters.
New York officials said the 31 hotspots identified in the advisory have an infection rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a 10% or higher infection rate over a 7-day rolling average.
The 20 deaths reported Tuesday from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, ended Maryland’s streak of 25 consecutive days with fewer than 20 deaths. In all, the virus and its effects have killed at least 3,272 Marylanders. Over the past two weeks, the state has reported an average of 9.4 new victims a day, compared to an average of 46 over the same timeframe May 21.
Like cases, the count of current hospitalizations is trending upwards but is not approaching the peak levels from the pandemic’s first couple of months. The 484 patients reported as currently hospitalized Wednesday are 98 more than the number reported eight days ago but represent a more manageable count than the state’s peak of 1,711 patients in late April.
Cases requiring intensive care decreased by five from Monday to 131. At 27%, the percent of ICU cases among current hospitalizations is the lowest it has been since the state began reporting that data in late March. In the nearly four months since, that figure has been below 30% only eight times, all since July 12.
For the 26th straight day, the state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate was below 5%, the mark the World Health Organization recommends governments see for 14 consecutive days before easing virus-related restrictions, though Maryland had not yet reached that point when it began its reopening process.
John’s Hopkins University’s coronavirus research center calculates positivity rate differently than the state, using the number of people tested rather than the total testing volume. Using that approach, Hopkins has Maryland’s positivity rate at 5.30% through Monday’s data, the second lowest of the 33 states that exceed the 5% benchmark. The state reported a seven-day average positivity of 4.49%.
At 6.13%, Baltimore has the highest seven-day average positivity rate of Maryland’s 14 jurisdictions with at least 500 confirmed cases, followed by Baltimore County’s 5.92%, Prince George’s County’s 5.81% and Charles County’s 5.68%. Worchester and Talbot counties on the Eastern Shore both have rates of 6.44% or higher, but the two combine for fewer than 700 cases.
Maryland reported more than 20,000 coronavirus test results for the fifth time in the past 10 days after not reaching that figure before this stretch. The state is approaching 1 million completed tests for the virus, having reported nearly 980,000 test results on about 764,000 people. More than 10% of those tested have received a positive result at least once.
More than 75% of the new cases reported Tuesday were among residents under 50 years old, with Marylanders older than 20 but younger than 40 accounting for 49% of the new cases. But of the 16 new victims whose age was known, 15 were at least 70 years old.
The state does not have data on race for 17% of its cases, including 154 of the cases reported Tuesday. Almost 60% of Maryland’s new cases were Black or Hispanic residents, groups combining to represent about 42% of the state’s overall population. Half of the new victims were white, and 8.2% of confirmed cases among whites have ended in death, double the statewide death rate of 4.1%.
Those who are white, 59% of Maryland’s population, represent 43% of the virus’ death toll in the state, while Black residents, 31% of the overall population, are 41% of the victims.
The New York Daily News contributed to this article.