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Maryland reports 536 new coronavirus cases and one more death

Maryland health officials reported 536 new confirmed coronavirus cases and one more death Monday — the 10th straight day the number of deaths has remained in the single digits.

The latest confirmed coronavirus victim was a woman in her 70s, according to state data.

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A total of 3,696 Marylanders now have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and the number of confirmed cases has reached 116,646, according to the state health department.

The number of people currently hospitalized fell by four from Sunday to 347, as of Monday. Of those, 90 are in intensive care, one more than Sunday, according to state officials.

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It’s the third consecutive day with fewer people hospitalized than the day before, and hospitalizations are down significantly from their peak of 1,711 in late April, according to state data.

Maryland’s seven-day average positivity rate was 3.54% as of Monday morning, down from the 3.68% reported the previous day.

Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center, which calculates the rate differently than the state, using the number of people tested, rather than the number of total tests administered, pegged the state’s positivity rate is 6.38%. It’s among 28 states and Puerto Rico with rates above the 5% threshold, recommended by the World Health Organization for 14 straight days before governments begin easing virus-related restrictions.

Maryland has not reported fewer than two deaths in a single day since March 28, though it’s reported just two deaths on three days since Aug. 17, including Sunday.

Since the coronavirus arrived in March, the most deaths reported by the state in a single day was 74, which occurred twice, on April 25 and May 5. The state last reported double digits on Sept. 3 and 4 with 11 deaths on both days, and it has not reported more than 30 deaths in one day since June 16.

Four counties — Cecil, Prince George’s, Wicomico and Worcester — have positivity rates above the recommended 5%, the state reported Monday. Cecil County’s rate was 5.63%, Prince George’s was 5.66%, Wicomico’s was 5.50% and Worcester’s was 6.39%, the state reported.

While the disease is deadliest to people over age 65 and those with compromised immune systems or preexisting conditions, 53% of the confirmed cases as of Monday were in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, according to state data.

The coronavirus has continued to highlight racial disparities in the state, with Black and Latino people being disproportionately affected in both confirmed cases and deaths.

Black people, who make up 30% of Maryland’s population, accounted for nearly 38% of the state’s confirmed cases and 41% of the deaths for which the patient’s race was known, according to the state.

Latinos, who represent only 10% of the state population, made up for about 26% of the confirmed cases and 12% of the deaths for which the patient’s race was known.

White people, by contrast, who make up 60% of the state’s population, accounted for only about 29% of the confirmed cases and 43% of the deaths for which the patient’s race was known.

The race of the patients was not known in 17,535 of the cases in Maryland and nine of the deaths, according to the state.

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Maryland’s coronavirus death toll does not include an additional 143 victims whose infections weren’t confirmed by a laboratory test.

As of Monday, the state had administered 2.2 million tests, more than 1.3 million of which have produced negative results, officials said.

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