With the coronavirus pandemic and hospitalizations surging across Maryland, the state reported 1,667 new coronavirus cases Tuesday along with 32 deaths tied to COVID-19, the most reported in one day since mid-June.
The state’s 14-day average of new deaths has risen steadily in recent weeks, more than doubling from eight Nov. 8 to 17 Tuesday. That average had been in single digits for most of August and all of September and October.
In the past five days, the state has averaged 21 deaths reported per day.
Maryland has now reported 1,000 or more cases for 21 consecutive days and 2,000 or more cases for seven of the past 11 days, a daily total that hadn’t been reached once before this stretch. It took only 20 days in November for Maryland to beat May’s monthly case record of 31,036.
Deaths and hospitalizations are metrics that can lag behind a surge in cases, as it can take weeks for some patients’ symptoms to worsen and for some to die.
The state’s testing volume of 29,162, reported Tuesday was well below the four days before Monday, during which the state’s testing volume averaged more than 46,000. Monday’s testing volume was 30,947.
Maryland reported 1,341 people hospitalized with virus-related complications Tuesday, 65 more than Monday. Hospitalizations have more than quadrupled since Oct. 4 when they were at 320 and are getting closer to a late April peak of just more than 1,700.
Among those reported hospitalized Tuesday, 314 needed intensive care, 25 more than Monday. ICU hospitalizations have more than doubled since the beginning of the month, when they stood at 127.
As of Monday’s data, about one in 33 Marylanders have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and about one in five of those were diagnosed in November, according to a Baltimore Sun data analysis.
Among those reported to have died Tuesday, all but two were age 60 or older: six in their 60s, 10 in their 70s, and 14 in their 80s or older. There were two exceptions: one resident in their 40s and one in their 50s.
Residents 60 or older have made up 3,750 of the state’s 4,325 reported deaths, or close to 87%. Marylanders in that age group have made up less than 20% of cases statewide.
Models from the University of Washington project the state will more than double its death total by March 1, 2021, reaching nearly 8,900 virus deaths. With “universal” masking, that projection drops to just over 7,900.
Younger Marylanders continue to drive new cases, as residents in their 20s alone had about the same share of new cases Tuesday as all Marylanders 60 or older — about 18%.
The new numbers come a day after Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, announced Maryland is stepping up enforcement of COVID-19-related restrictions ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“What part don’t you understand?” Hogan said Monday. “You wear the mask.”
The state again set a pandemic high for its 14-day average of new daily cases Tuesday, up to 2,054, about double a prior May peak of 1,031.
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Western Maryland is continuing to get swamped by the virus.
Allegany County, a virus hot spot, reported 100 new cases — nearly 4% of the county’s cases during the pandemic — and four new deaths Tuesday, bringing the county’s death total up to 59. The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate was 16.44% as of Tuesday, more than double the statewide average of 6.6%.
Neighboring Garrett County added 41 new cases Tuesday after seeing just 504 cases during the pandemic before Tuesday. The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate was 12.53% as of Tuesday.
Montgomery County, which reported 233 new cases Tuesday, 14% of the state’s total, announced new virus-related restrictions amid what it called “skyrocketing” community spread. That included a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 10 people, save for businesses and other establishments previously allowed to stay open at 25% capacity or 25 people, whichever is lower.
The new numbers bring the state to a total of 185,464 confirmed virus cases and 4,325 deaths since March.
The state’s reported seven-day positivity rate was 6.6% Tuesday, down from 6.88% Monday. The positivity rate has more than doubled from a month ago, when it sat at 3.17% as of Oct. 24.
Baltimore Sun reporter Sanya Kamidi contributed to this story. This story will be updated.