While all 24 of Maryland’s jurisdictions reported Tuesday having seven-day testing positivity rates under 5% for only the sixth time during the coronavirus pandemic’s nearly seven months, the state’s overall positivity rate is about half the figure reported by Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.
For the previous five days, Worcester County — home to Ocean City — was the state’s only jurisdiction with a seven-day positivity above 5%. But the county’s figure dropped from 6.24% Monday to 4.2% Tuesday. That means that, for the first time in a month, all of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions are reporting rates under 5% — the benchmark the World Health Organization recommends governments spend 14 consecutive days below before easing virus-related restrictions.
Maryland’s overall seven-day positivity rate, which measures the percentage of virus tests that return positive results during a weeklong period, was 2.59% Tuesday, up again slightly for the fourth straight day. The state has reported a rate below 3% for 10 consecutive days, beneath 4% every day since Aug. 8 and under 5% every day since June 26.
Hopkins, which calculates positivity differently than the state, has Maryland’s seven-data positivity rate through Monday’s data at nearly double the state’s mark at 5.06%, the 22nd lowest among all states.
While Maryland determines positivity using tests conducted, Hopkins uses the people tested, meaning individuals who are tested multiple times, regardless of their results, are counted only once in the university’s calculation.
Maryland has reported almost 2.6 million test results, with nearly 1 million of those tests being performed on residents who already underwent at least one test. Among the 1.6 million Marylanders tested, 7.7% received a positive result at least once.
Maryland officials reported 431 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday and nine new deaths associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Those additions bring the state to 124,311 confirmed infections and at least 3,802 virus-related fatalities during the pandemic.
Of the latest 15,000 tests reported Tuesday, 3.16% came back positive, the first time in a week the state’s single-day positivity rate was greater than 3%.
About 38% of Tuesday’s new cases are in residents who are in their 20s or 30s, an age range representing 27% of Maryland’s overall population, according to U.S. census data. The state’s reported seven-day positivity rate in residents older 35 years old, 2.16%, has been below 2.2% for nine straight days. The rate for those under 35 is 3.37% but was 5.05% two weeks ago.
One of Tuesday’s nine victims was in his or her 30s, the state’s 73rd death in a resident younger than 40. Tuesday’s other eight virus-related fatalities were in Marylanders who were at least 50, with half being 80 or older.
About 3% of Maryland residents who have had a confirmed infection of COVID-19 have died; for those at least 50 years old, the death rate is 8.3%, while the rate is less than a quarter of a percent among those younger than 50.
Of the 366 confirmed cases for which the state reported the infected person’s race Tuesday, about 55% were in residents who are Black, Hispanic or Latino, groups representing a combined 42% of Maryland’s overall population. White residents, 58% of the state’s population, were 40% of the new infections and account for 30% of the overall caseload for which race is known.
Despite representing nearly twice the proportion of the state’s population, white residents account for nearly the same portion for Maryland’s virus-related deaths as Black residents, at 42% and 41%, respectively. Of the five new victims whose races were known, four were white, and one was Hispanic or Latino.
The state reported 344 patients currently hospitalized because of the virus' effects, up from Monday’s 315. Of those hospitalizations, 79 require intensive care, three fewer than Monday. The number of virus-related patients in the state has increased in six of the past nine days.