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Maryland passes 20,000 infections, nears 1,000 deaths from coronavirus

Maryland reported 626 new cases and 71 more deaths from the novel coronavirus Tuesday, pushing the state past 20,000 cases as it draws closer to 1,000 victims of the virus.

The additions bring Maryland to 20,113 infections and 929 victims of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. The state possibly already has surpassed 1,000 deaths due to coronavirus, with another 87 deaths considered probably caused by the virus, though laboratory tests didn’t confirm those infections.

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Including negative tests, Maryland added 2,809 test results to its records Tuesday, a steep drop after consecutive days with more than 7,000 results reported as 500,000 tests purchased from South Korea are put to use.

Those additional tests have factored into a jump in Maryland’s confirmed cases. Since Friday, the state has seen a 21% increase in confirmed infections. Tuesday ended a five-day string of more than 800 new cases being confirmed each day. Only two days before Thursday had more than 800 new cases.

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has said he won’t initiate his plan to reopen the state until there is a 14-day downward trend in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Maryland has yet to have more than two consecutive days with fewer new cases than the prior day.

Tuesday’s 71 newly reported deaths make up the state’s second deadliest day due to the virus after Saturday’s 74.

One bright spot in the data was only 15 new hospitalization reported Tuesday. Maryland hospitals are currently caring for 1,528 patients confirmed to have the coronavirus, with 551 of those in intensive care, the state reported. Of those infected, 1,295 have been released from isolation, the state said.

Nearly 90% of the state’s confirmed deaths are in those at least 60 years old, the age group considered to be most susceptible to the virus.

The state announced Monday it would begin to report virus infections and deaths at nursing homes, with several counties reporting that residents of long-term senior care facilities make up a large portion of their COVID-19 deaths. The state had not reported that data as of Tuesday morning.

African Americans, who represent about 30% of Maryland’s population, account for about 44% of the state’s cases and virus-related deaths among those whose race was known.

Including probable deaths, the plurality of the state’s reported victims of the virus have been white, though Maryland’s white population is double its black population, according to U.S. census data.

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