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Maryland reports 2,353 coronavirus cases — second-highest daily case total — and second-most deaths since June

Cases and deaths continued to rise across Maryland as the state reported 2,353 new coronavirus cases Friday and 25 deaths tied to COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.

Friday’s case total was the second-highest daily total during the pandemic, behind just Thursday’s 2,910.

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The state has reported 2,000 or more new cases in five of the past seven days — a number not seen before this period — and a thousand or more cases for 17 straight days.

Friday’s death toll was the second-highest the state has seen since June, behind the 26 reported Tuesday. Meanwhile, hospitalizations grew by 15 to 1,207, the highest level since May 30.

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Hospitalizations and deaths in particular can lag behind a surge in cases, as it can take weeks for patients’ symptoms to worsen and for some to die.

Deaths are on the rise, as the state has averaged more than 21 deaths daily in the past four days.

Demonstrating the stunning rise in new cases, the 14-day average of new daily cases has about doubled from 915 two weeks ago to 1,827 Friday.

Ahead of next week’s Thanksgiving holiday, the state’s testing volume reported Friday of 41,252 was also the second-highest during the pandemic, behind Thursday. Maryland surpassed 4 million tests for the entirety of the pandemic Friday.

Hospitalizations have more than quadrupled since late September. With some hospitals reaching capacity, Maryland officials have ramped up a program to transfer patients between facilities.

Among those hospitalized, 261 required intensive care, one more than Thursday. ICU hospitalizations have more than doubled since the beginning of November.

Younger Marylanders continued to drive the surge in cases, as residents in their 20s and 30s made up more than 36% of new cases reported Friday. Residents between the ages of zero and 19 accounted for 336 new cases Friday, or about 14%, coming as several school districts have pared back or delayed plans for in-person learning.

Residents age 60 or older made up 18% of new cases, with 430. But residents in that age group accounted for all but one of the state’s deaths reported Friday, including 16 people who were 80 or older. The lone exception was a resident in their 50s.

Marylanders age 60 or older have made up less than 20% of cases statewide yet account for more than 86% of the state’s deaths throughout the pandemic.

Allegany County continued to be slammed by the virus Friday, reporting 125 new cases, or about 6% of the county’s case total during the pandemic. The county also reported two new deaths after reporting five Thursday; about 15% of the county’s 46 deaths have come in the past two days.

The county’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people reached 145.46 Thursday, more than four times the statewide average of 35.05. The county has recorded 1,143 of its 2,115 total cases in the past two weeks, according to The Baltimore Sun’s coronavirus data.

Neighboring Garrett County added 39 new cases, or nearly 9% of its 447 cases during the pandemic. Garrett County’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 reached 97 Thursday, nearly triple the statewide average. The county also reported its third death of the pandemic.

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Baltimore County added 335 cases Friday, the second-most new cases in the state behind just Prince George’s County’s 472, along with one death. The county’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 was 40.77 Thursday, among the highest in the state. The new data come a week after the county announced new restrictions on gatherings and restaurant hours, as well as shutting down youth sports.

Friday’s data bring the state to a total of 177,086 confirmed virus cases and 4,245 deaths since March. There has been an increase in demand for testing as the virus has surged, leaving long lines for testing at times in Baltimore.

The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate was 7.17%, down slightly from 7.19% Thursday. That figure stood at 4.54% just two weeks ago.

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