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ICU cases again beneath 100 as Maryland reports 377 new cases, 10 new deaths from coronavirus

Maryland officials reported 377 new cases and 10 new fatalities from the coronavirus Tuesday, bringing the state to 105,046 infections and 3,564 deaths because of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The state reported that 411 patients are hospitalized because of the virus, an increase of four from Monday. But with 97 in intensive care units — six fewer than Monday — Maryland has reported its fewest current ICU cases since late March, dipping beneath 100 for the third time in the past four days.

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Maryland’s reported seven-day average testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests in a weeklong period that return a positive result, came in at 3.25% on Tuesday. For nearly two months, the state’s figure has been below 5%, the World Health Organization’s recommended benchmark for governments to ease virus-related restrictions, while Maryland has not reported a seven-day rate above 4% since Aug. 8.

Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, which uses a different calculation than the state to determine positivity rate, had Maryland at 4.329%, the 18th lowest seven-day rate among all states through Monday’s data. While Maryland calculates its rate by dividing positive tests by total tests performed, Hopkins’ formula divides confirmed cases by the number of people tested, meaning multiple tests performed on the same individuals are not included.

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Hopkins’ rate for Maryland has been beneath 5% for 11 straight days, the longest streak since a 19-day stretch that ended in early July.

The 377 new cases mark the state’s fewest since July 6, the last time the state reported fewer than 400 infections, but it comes on a day the state reported about 12,900 test results, its lowest reported total for a single day since July 13. About 3.78% of those tests came back positive, the state’s highest single-day positivity rate in a week.

Maryland has reported more than 1.8 million test results during the pandemic, with about 552,000 of those tests performed on residents who had previously been tested. Of the nearly 1.3 million Marylanders who have been tested for COVID-19, 8.4% have received a positive result at least once.

About 53% of Tuesday’s new cases were in residents under the age of 40, while all 10 victims were at least 60 years old.

The state reported the race of the infected person in 297 cases Tuesday. More than 40% of those cases were in Black residents, who represent 31% of Maryland’s overall population. Another 26% were Hispanic, a group that accounts for 10% of the state’s population. White residents, 59% of Maryland’s population, represented 25% of Tuesday’s cases and 26% of the overall caseload for cases in which race is known. The state has not reported race for about 15% of infections.

Of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, only Somerset County is reporting a seven-day positivity rate above 5%. The county’s 181 total cases are the second fewest of any jurisdiction in the state, but its positivity rate has risen from 1.09% to 6.57% over the past week.

Prince George’s County, the leading jurisdiction in total cases with more than 25,000, and Charles County, which has about 2,300 cases, are the only other jurisdictions with rates over 4%.

Almost two-thirds of Tuesday’s new cases were in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Baltimore County and Baltimore, the top four jurisdictions in total cases that combine to represent 71% of Maryland’s overall caseload.

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