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Maryland adds 504 new coronavirus cases, five new deaths; positivity rate down slightly

Maryland added 504 confirmed cases of coronavirus Monday, as well as five new deaths associated with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

These additions bring the state to 131,861 confirmed infections and 3,859 fatalities since officials started tracking the pandemic’s spread in Maryland in March. Through Sunday’s count, the state had the 29th-most cases per capita and the 16th-most deaths per capita in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

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There are currently 384 patients who are hospitalized with the virus in Maryland, nine fewer than Sunday. Of those, 93 patients require intensive care, three more than the day before.

Maryland’s seven-day average testing positivity rate currently stands at 2.76%, down from 2.83% Sunday. Hopkins, which tracks this measure in a different way than state officials, had the rate at 5.65% as of Sunday.

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Maryland determines positivity by looking at the number of tests conducted, while Hopkins looks at the number of people tested. That means Hopkins counts individuals who are tested multiple times, regardless of results, only once in its data.

The World Health Organization has recommended that governments see 14 consecutive days with positivity rates below 5% before beginning to ease restrictions related to the pandemic. Maryland has been reporting a rate below that measure for about three months.

All of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions were under the 5% positivity rate benchmark Monday.

According to the Hopkins tracker, Maryland had performed the 32nd-most tests per capita in the nation as of Sunday, with over 28,000 tests per 100,000 people. As of Monday, the state’s total testing volume exceeded 2.9 million.

Prince George’s County, the state’s second-most populous county, continues to be its hardest hit, with 30,762 cases and 814 confirmed deaths. Montgomery County, the state’s most populous county, had one more deaths but more than 7,000 fewer confirmed infections.

Baltimore County comes in third statewide with more than 19,000 cases and 622 deaths, followed by Baltimore City with 16,508 cases and 476 deaths, and Anne Arundel County with 10,875 cases and 245 deaths.

As of Monday, Somerset County had tested the largest percentage of its population among Maryland jurisdictions. Its 3.66% seven-day positivity rate was also the state’s highest.

The virus has continued to afflict the state’s Black and Latino populations disproportionately to whites. Of the 111,921 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for which information on race was available, roughly 61.92% — or, 69,304 — were found in Black or Hispanic residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, these two demographic groups represent about 42% of the state’s population.

By comparison, roughly 30.4% of the 111,921 virus cases were found in white residents. However, the white population has a higher mortality rate — 4.82% as of Monday — from the virus compared to other races. About 3.84% of cases among Black residents and about 1.58% of cases among Latino residents resulted in death as of Monday.

Residents 60 and older contnue to have a higher mortality rate from the disease than younger people, with a rate of 12.58% as of Monday. However, residents below the age of 40 make up 49.40% of the number of confirmed cases as of Monday.

About one in 1,000 COVID-19 cases in people below the age of 40 were fatal as of Monday.

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