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Maryland reports 477 new coronavirus cases, 3 new deaths

Maryland announced 477 new coronavirus cases Monday along with three deaths tied to COVID-19, the illness the virus causes.

The new data released Monday morning puts the state at a total of 123,880 confirmed virus cases and 3,793 deaths since the pandemic took hold in Maryland in March. After announcing 10 deaths Sunday, Monday was the 22nd out of the past 24 days in which the state reported news deaths in the single digits.

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Research from Johns Hopkins University has suggested that in the cooler fall and winter months, the virus may spread more rapidly, as warmer weather can slow the virus' spread. With fall just beginning and temperatures still on the warmer side, there has been no spike in caseloads thus far in Maryland.

The 14-day average of newly reported cases has fallen from 612 on Sept. 16 to 521 as of Sunday, the latest in The Baltimore Sun’s coronavirus data. Maryland entered Stage Three of its coronavirus reopening plan on Sept. 4.

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The state’s seven-day positivity rate — which measures the percentage of tests returning positive over a week — was 2.58%, up slightly from Sunday’s 2.57%. Maryland has recorded its rolling positivity rate to be below 4% every day since Aug. 8 and under 5% since June 25.

The 5% threshold is relevant because the World Health Organization recommends 14 straight days with a seven-day rolling positivity rate of 5% or lower before governments begin easing virus-related restrictions.

Hopkins, which uses a different formula to calculate positivity rates, found Maryland’s positivity rate to be 5%, at or below 5% for the fifth straight day. The university’s rate is consistently higher than the state’s because it uses the total number of people tested as opposed to the number of tests completed.

Positivity rates are below 5% in 23 out of 24 jurisdictions in the state, including in some of the state’s most populous areas. That includes a 1.88% rate in Baltimore City, 2.33% in Baltimore County, 2.47% in Montgomery County and 3.87% in Prince George’s County, according to Gov. Larry Hogan.

Close to 60% of the new cases reported Monday were from those jurisdictions, including about 20% from Prince George’s County.

Active hospitalizations dropped 13 from Sunday to 315. Among those hospitalized, 82 needed intensive care, down eight from Sunday’s 90.

Among the three newly reported deaths, two were Marylanders in their 70s and one was 80 or older. The virus has killed older people in Maryland and across the country disproportionately, as about 86% of deaths have come from those 60 or older, according to the Sun’s data.

However, the virus is spreading rapidly among younger people. Among the new cases the state reported Monday, 36% were in their 20s and 30s, while more than 22% were among those 19 or younger.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore last week reported more than a dozen confirmed coronavirus cases in its private, Catholic schools across the state.

Among new cases reported Monday in which race was known, nearly half were among Black and Hispanic Marylanders. About 40% were among white Marylanders and 2% were from Asian Marylanders.

Black and Hispanic Marylanders also have been hit disproportionately by the pandemic. Black residents represent about 31% of the state’s population but 41% of the state’s COVID-19 death toll, according to The Sun’s coronavirus data. Hispanic residents represent about 11% of the population but have made up 22% of the state’s cases and 12% of deaths.

Baltimore Sun reporters Colin Campbell and Meredith Cohn contributed to this article.

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