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Maryland’s coronavirus caseload multiplies by 10 during month of April as virus spread, testing expanded

Maryland’s coronavirus caseload grew tenfold in April, partly a result of expanded testing efforts, while the state crossed the grim threshold of 1,000 deaths related to the virus Thursday.

Maryland has confirmed 21,742 infections and 1,047 deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, compared to a reported 1,985 cases and 31 deaths as of April 1. The state added 893 cases and 62 deaths to its counts Thursday.

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Gov. Larry Hogan said during an interview Wednesday night on Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” that Maryland is still lagging behind where states such as New York are in the outbreak’s trajectory because both the case count and death toll continues to increase.

“Sadly our numbers are on the rise and the Washington area is starting to grow,” Hogan said. “Governors are on the front lines and we are in a tough position, making really hard decisions.”

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Maryland’s number of currently hospitalized coronavirus patients reached 1,711 Thursday. Of those, 590 are in intensive care, also the most the state has reported for a single day. There have been 1,432 reported recoveries in Maryland. Hogan has said hospitalizations is a metric the state is tracking closely as it weighs easing coronavirus restrictions.

The Republican governor also has said Maryland will not begin its reopening process until there has been a 14-day trend of decreases in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Maryland hasn’t reported more than two days in a row in which the number of new confirmed cases was lower than the day before, with no consecutive days with declines since April 19. The 14-day rolling averages of current hospitalizations and new deaths haven’t decreased from one day to the next since the state began reporting that data.

Including negative tests, the 3,430 test results the state reported Thursday were the most of the past three days, a stretch that follows consecutive days with more than 7,000 reported results.

On “The Daily Show” appearance, Noah pressed the Republican governor about the back-and-forth he’s had with President Donald Trump, largely on national television.

Hogan, the chair of the National Governors Association, has walked a fine line between advocating for the governors while trying not to alienate the administration. But last week Trump criticized Hogan during a media briefing after Hogan had secured several thousand coronavirus tests from South Korea.

The governor told Noah that he hasn’t been trying to be critical of Trump, but he “hasn’t been afraid to stand up when I think things aren’t going well.”

He emphasized that he wished there would have been more support for states to secure more testing but said in the interview that the federal government is “making strides” and “has been good at addressing needs.”

“We’ve butted heads a few times, but I’m not one of those folks criticizing [Trump] for no reason,” Hogan said. “The real enemy is the virus and I think there will be plenty of time to go back and take a look at what we could’ve done or should’ve done better.”

As of Wednesday, 508 of the state’s victims were residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Among those whose ages have been reported, 88% of the victims were at least 60 years old.

The five ZIP codes with the most confirmed cases of the virus, and six of the top nine, are in Prince George’s or Montgomery counties, the two jurisdictions with the most confirmed cases. The 21215 ZIP code that includes parts of Baltimore County and northwest Baltimore is sixth with 359 cases.

Hogan told Noah that the pandemic has prompted the most bipartisanship he’s ever seen in politics. The Republican governor referenced the multiple stimulus packages passed by Congress and that governors on both sides are actively working together on a day-day-to-basis.

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“I haven’t seen people wearing blue jerseys or red jerseys," Hogan said. "I’ve been seeing people asking ‘How can we help?’ ”

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