xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland reports record 2,321 new coronavirus cases Saturday, hospitalizations reach 921

Maryland saw its largest daily jump to date in new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Saturday as it added 2,321 cases, officials reported.

The state reported 20 additional deaths associated with COVID-19, the illness the virus causes.

Advertisement

Officials said 921 people with the virus are hospitalized, a number that has more than doubled in the past two weeks. Those patients include 218 in intensive care.

“Our ability to weather this fall surge and keep our hospitals from overflowing will depend on each and every Marylander exercising personal responsibility,” Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Saturday morning, adding that the statewide mask mandate “carries the full force of law.”

Advertisement

“Businesses that fail to comply with emergency orders run the risk of jail time, fines, actions taken regarding their business licenses, or closure,” the Republican governor tweeted.

Saturday marked the first time new daily cases in Maryland topped 2,000. The state has reported 1,000 or more new cases of COVID-19 for 11 straight days.

The statewide testing positivity rate rose to 6.16%, it’s highest point since mid-June, the state Department of Health reported. Baltimore city and Baltimore County both had positivity rates of more than 6 percent Saturday, with Harford County’s rate jumping to 8.2% — the highest in the Baltimore region.

The World Health Organization has advised governments that positivity rates should stay at 5% or lower for 14 days before reopening.

The latest statistics bring the state to at least 164,090 infections and 4,144 virus-related fatalities during the pandemic since March.

To slow the spread of the virus amid the latest surge, the state may need to impose or tighten restrictions in the coming weeks, Hogan warned Thursday. On Tuesday, he ordered restaurant capacity reduced statewide and discouraged indoor gatherings of more than 25 people, saying the state was heading into “the danger zone” with the virus.

Several jurisdictions have gone further in tightening restrictions over the past few days, including Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City have limited indoor gatherings to 10 people. Anne Arundel is cancelling youth sports effective Monday and Baltimore County is following suit Tuesday. Baltimore City has ordered all bars that don’t serve food to shut down and restaurants to close each night at 11 p.m.

Harford closed its county facilities to the public, including indoor parks and recreation facilities, and suspended organized outdoor activities on county fields.

Maryland has seen the 19th-most deaths and the 35th-most cases per capita among states, according to data from Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

Though the virus has been most deadly to the elderly, people in their 20s made up the biggest age group of new confirmed cases reported Saturday. That age group, with 477 new confirmed cases, accounted for just over one-fifth of all cases.

Of the total 164,090 confirmed positive cases in Maryland, 32,198 have been people aged 60 or older, while nearly 80,000 have been people ages 30 to 59. But fatalities have been higher among those in the 70 and older age range, who have accounted for about 70% of deaths.

Advertisement

The state’s most recent surge of the virus has sparked fresh debate over how to handle the health and economic crisis. After Hogan’s morning tweets, some residents responded that the state needs another lockdown period and ramped up testing

Others argued that more restrictions and forced closures would put additional people out of work and further cripple the economy.

Baltimore Sun reporter Ben Leonard contributed to this article.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement