For the third straight day, Maryland’s total of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus climbed by a record amount, surpassing 100 new cases in a day for the first time.
The state reported 157 new cases of the virus Thursday morning, more than the sum of the increases of 61 and 74 cases the respective two days prior. Thursday’s spike brought Maryland’s total case count to at least 580, an increase of 37% from Wednesday, which is also the state’s largest one-day rise by percentage.
There are more than 1,200 confirmed cases in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. combined.
“We are only at the beginning of this crisis, in our state, in the National Capital Region, and in America,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “As I have repeatedly stressed, we should continue to expect the number of cases to dramatically and rapidly rise.”
In his statement, Hogan also made reference to the 42,000 Marylanders who filed for unemployment last week.
“Today, we are also seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of Marylanders filing for unemployment," Hogan said. “We are going to do everything we can to help people and small businesses get back on their feet.”
Although the state is working to report its number of negative tests, it has yet to do so, meaning it’s not determinable whether the virus’ spread or increased testing for it is causing the daily climbs. However, Thursday marked the first day Maryland has reported its number of virus-related hospitalizations, with 132 total during the virus’ run, as well as the number of confirmed cases released from isolation, announcing 23.
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Nearly 80% of Maryland’s cases fall into the wide age range of 18- to 64-year-olds. The majority of the remaining one-fifth of cases is among those who are at least 65 years old, with 113 cases among the group considered most at-risk to the effects of the coronavirus. There are six cases in those who are under 18.
Thursday, the state reported the cases broken down by gender for the first time, with 298 cases in male residents and 282 cases in female residents.
Four of Maryland’s cases have resulted in death. The victims have not been named, but state officials identified three as men in their 60s with underlying health conditions, with two in Prince George’s County and the other a resident of Baltimore County. The fourth victim, a Montgomery County woman in her 40s, also had underlying medical conditions.
Montgomery County has the state’s most cases at 164, with Prince George’s County also reaching triple digits Thursday at 101. Baltimore County follows with 81 cases, while Baltimore City is fourth among the state’s jurisdictions with 72. Of Maryland’s 24 counties and jurisdictions, Allegany and Dorchester counties are the only ones yet to report a confirmed case of the coronavirus.
Maryland reports its coronavirus case totals daily at 10 a.m., while counties and jurisdictions might report cases outside of the state’s count.
“This battle is going to be much harder, take much longer, and be much worse than almost anyone comprehends," Hogan said in his statement. "We have never faced anything like this ever before, and I continue to urge the people of our state to stay in place at home and stay safe.
“I want Marylanders to know that if we continue to lead and work together — if we rely on and help each other — together we will get through this crisis.”