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Maryland reports 1,658 new coronavirus cases, 14 deaths as hospitalizations continue to rise

Just days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Maryland reported 1,658 new coronavirus cases Monday and 14 deaths tied to COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, with hospitalizations continuing to rise.

Maryland has now reported 1,000 or more cases reported for 20 consecutive days and 2,000 or more cases for seven of the past 10 days, a daily total which hadn’t been reached once before this period.

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The state reported 1,276 people hospitalized with virus-related complications, 39 more than Sunday. Rising closer to a late April peak of just over 1,700, hospitalizations have nearly quadrupled since Oct. 4 when they stood at 320.

With some hospitals nearing capacity, Maryland has ramped up a program to transfer patients between facilities.

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Among those hospitalized, 289 required intensive care, 21 more than Sunday. ICU hospitalizations have more than doubled since the beginning of the month, when they were at 127.

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

Deaths have climbed this month, doubling from a two-week average of eight deaths a day as of Nov. 8, to 16 as of Monday.

Monday was the lowest newly reported case total since the state reported 1,477 new cases Nov. 12. But the state’s 14-day average of newly reported cases hit a new record of 2,030 Monday. That’s nearly double a May peak of 1,031

The state’s testing volume dipped significantly Monday from recent days, down to about 31,000 after averaging more than 46,000 for the past four days.

Marylanders in their 20s made up by far the most new cases of any age group, about 100 more than the closest age group, Marylanders in their 30s. Residents in their 20s made up more than 21% of new cases.

Among those reported to have died, all but one was 60 or older, an age group that has made up more than 86% of deaths during the pandemic despite representing less than 20% of cases. The lone exception was a resident in their 50s.

Allegany County continued to be ravaged by the virus Monday, reporting three new deaths and 72 new cases, about 3% of its case total during the pandemic. The county’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people was up to 165.34, by far the highest in the state and more than four times the statewide average of 38.3.

Allegany’s neighbor to the west, Garrett County, added one new death. Garrett’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 was the third highest in the state at 94.04 as of Sunday’s data.

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Somerset County’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 has skyrocketed, up to 112.65 after being at 26.77 just a week ago.

Baltimore County reported the second most cases in the state Monday with 256. The county’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 has more than doubled to 46.31 from 21.29 two weeks prior.

The new data bring the state to a total of 183,797 virus cases and 4,293 deaths since March.

The state’s reported seven-day testing positivity rate was 6.88% Monday, up slightly from 6.82% Sunday. Maryland’s positivity rate has climbed significantly overall from 3.94% as of Nov. 1.

Baltimore Sun Media reporter Olivia Sanchez contributed to this article.

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