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Maryland announces 47 more coronavirus-related deaths, pushing victim count to 631

Maryland’s confirmed death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 631 Wednesday, with the state reporting 47 more victims of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Although the deaths were reported Wednesday, they could have occurred any number of days prior. Twenty-six people in Maryland are confirmed as having died from the virus Tuesday, per the state. That marks the state’s fewest single-day deaths since April 7.

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Adding to that count are another 67 victims whose deaths were believed to be caused by COVID-19, though a laboratory test never confirmed they had the coronavirus.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford cautioned that the coronavirus pandemic is a serious matter, as he opened an online meeting of the state’s Board of Public Works.

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He noted that this winter’s seasonal flu caused 62 deaths through April.

In just the first month of the coronavirus pandemic, the virus caused 206 deaths — and that number has continued to rise, now topping 600 deaths.

“So for those who think this pandemic is no more than a bad flu season, they are badly mistaken,” said Rutherford, a Republican. “We are in a challenging time. It’s not quite over yet.”

Maryland has confirmed 14,775 cases of the virus total, with 582 of those reported Wednesday. That keeps Maryland from what would’ve been a second straight daily drop in new cases. Gov. Larry Hogan has been adamant he will follow the guidelines from President Donald Trump that states should not begin their reopening process until their daily counts of new cases decrease for 14 straight days. Maryland has yet to exceed two consecutive days in which the number of new confirmed cases was lower than the day prior.

It’s possible that Maryland’s count of confirmed cases will see a spike in the near future as the 500,000 coronavirus tests Hogan and his wife, Yumi, acquired from South Korea get put to use. Increased testing will likely inflate the state’s number of confirmed cases, but improved testing capability is also one of four aspects of Hogan’s plan for the state’s recovery and reopening.

The state reported new 2,885 test results Wednesday, a 4% increase from Tuesday’s total.

There are 1,432 infected currently hospitalized in Maryland, with 527 of them in intensive care. The state reported that 981 overall have been released from isolation, 51 more than Tuesday’s reported total.

Among the infected whose race is known, African Americans account for more than 46% of the state’s cases and deaths. Race data has not been reported in about one-fifth of cases statewide.

More than one in every six cases of the coronavirus in a Marylander over 80 years old has resulted in death. Almost 88% of the state’s victims whose ages have been reported were at least 60, though those 59 and younger represent more than two-thirds of the case total.

Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

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