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Maryland reports 897 new coronavirus cases — highest daily case count since early August

Maryland health officials reported 897 new coronavirus cases Tuesday — the most in one day since early August — and nine new deaths tied to COVID-19, the illness the virus causes.

Tuesday’s new cases were the highest since Aug. 9, when the state reported 922 cases.

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Tuesday’s numbers bring the state to a total of 141,741 confirmed cases and 3,962 deaths since March. Maryland has seen the 15th-most deaths and the 31st-most virus cases among states, according to data from Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

Cases are increasing in most states, and average deaths per day are up 10% across the country in the past two weeks.

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Maryland’s caseload has been trending up in the past week, according to Hopkins, along with 39 other states and Washington, D.C. Just one state, Missouri, is seeing cases fall, according to Hopkins.

Maryland’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people has jumped to 11.08 Monday from a recent low of 7.63 Sept. 26. The state’s case rate peaked in May at just above 18 cases per 100,00 people.

Experts say “pandemic fatigue,” along with cooler fall and winter weather that may spread the virus more easily, especially as people congregate inside, could lead to difficult months ahead.

The count of patients currently hospitalized grew by 15 to 471 Tuesday. The state has seen an increase in this metric since Sept. 20, when 281 people were hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 105 needed intensive care, seven fewer than Monday. Tuesday marked the 15th straight day that at least 100 people required intensive care.

Younger Marylanders continue to drive the rising case numbers, with those in their 20s, 30s and 40s representing 55% of new cases Tuesday. People 60 and above, the age group most likely to die from the virus, made up 17% of new cases.

All of the nine people reported to have died from the virus Tuesday were 60 or older; four were 80 or older. People 60 or older have represented more than 86% of the state’s deaths despite making up just 20% of total cases.

Maryland’s seven-day positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests returning positive over a week, was 3.35% Tuesday, up from 3.25% Monday. The state’s positivity rate has risen generally from late September, when it was as low as 2.51%.

Hopkins' rolling positivity rate for Maryland was 2.55% as of Monday, up slightly from 2.47% Sunday. The university’s data provider recently changed how it calculated its rate, reducing it significantly.

The state measures the metric using the percentage of positive tests out of the total number of tests. On the other hand, Hopkins uses a formula that divides the number of new cases divided by the total number of tests. Hopkins had previously calculated the rate by dividing the number of new cases by the number of new people tested in a weeklong span.

Prince George’s County reported the most cases of any jurisdiction Tuesday with 207, 23% of the the state’s total new cases. Montgomery and Baltimore counties followed behind with 157 and 146, respectively, combining to represent more than a third of new cases.

Black and Latino residents continued to be hit disproportionately by the virus, representing 53% of new cases in which race was known despite making up less than half of the state’s population. Overall, the two groups have made up about 61% of cases in which race is known.

By comparison, white residents make up more than 58% of the state’s population but have represented just 31% of overall cases in which race was known.

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