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Maryland reports record-high 1,869 new coronavirus cases Friday, hospitalizations surpass 900

Maryland’s coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continued to trend in the wrong direction Friday, as the state reported 1,869 new coronavirus cases, an all-time daily high.

The state has now gone 10 straight days reporting 1,000 or more new virus cases Officials on Friday also reported 12 deaths tied to COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.

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The state’s 14-day new case average set a pandemic record for the fifth straight day, up to 1,247 from 787 as of Nov. 3.

Maryland reported 914 people hospitalized with the virus Friday, up from 863 Thursday. Hospitalizations have increased by 259 patients since Sunday and have more than doubled since Oct. 12.

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Among those hospitalized, 208 needed intensive care, up from 199 Thursday. ICU hospitalizations have surged since Oct. 27, when 105 people required intensive care. The state hasn’t seen ICU hospitalizations this high since June.

Despite their recent surge, hospitalizations are still below a late April high of more than 1,700, and ICU hospitalizations are about a third of their May peak of 611. But hospitalizations and deaths are considered to be metrics that can lag behind case surges, as it can take weeks for patients' symptoms to worsen and for some to die.

“These weeks and months ahead will be the most difficult we have faced,” Hogan wrote in a tweet Friday. “Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance.”

Maryland courts stopped trials and counties implemented stricter virus-related restrictions on restaurants and gatherings Thursday.

The new numbers bring the state to a total of 161,769 confirmed cases and 4,124 deaths since March. The state 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.

Nationwide, confirmed daily virus cases in the past two weeks, as well as the total number of people hospitalized, have hit record highs.

Younger Marylanders continued to drive the surge in new cases Friday, with residents in their 20s, 30s and 40s making up about 54% of cases reported.

Residents in their 50s and 60s made up about a quarter of new cases. The state also reported 161 new cases among people in their 70s and older, an age group that has comprised more than 70% of the state’s deaths deaths thus far.

The state’s positivity rate among residents younger than 35 has grown to 6.42% from 4.47% as of Nov. 2. During that time, the positivity rate among residents older than 35 has jumped from 3.64% to 5.53%.

Among those reported to have died Friday, all were age 60 or older. The state’s two-week new death average has doubled from 5 as of Oct. 14 to 10 as of Friday. That’s still well below a pandemic high of 52 from May.

Virus hot spot Allegany County continued to see a surge Friday, adding 126 new cases — 9% of the county’s pandemic total. The county had only reported 1,273 coronavirus cases before Friday.

For context, the Western Maryland county reported just 30 fewer cases Friday than Anne Arundel County, which has about eight times the population. Allegany’s Frostburg State University moved in-person classes to remote learning for the rest of the semester earlier in the week.

Baltimore City, which has seen cases spike 159% in four weeks, saw its case rate continue to rise. The city’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people grew to 33.6, well above the statewide average of 23.48 as of Thursday’s data.

The state’s reported rolling seven-day positivity rate was 5.87% Friday, up from 5.65% Thursday. Maryland’s positivity rate has spiked precipitously in recent weeks, jumping from just 3% Oct. 22.

The state’s positivity rate has been above 5% since Sunday. The 5% figure is significant because the World Health Organization has recommended governments see positivity rates at or below 5% for at least 14 days before easing virus-related restrictions.

Hopkins' positivity rate, which is calculated differently from the state’s, was 4.75% as of Thursday’s data.

Baltimore Sun reporters Pamela Wood and Jeff Barker contributed to this article.

This article will be updated.

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