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Maryland reports 599 new cases, 10 new deaths from coronavirus

Maryland officials reported 599 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday and 10 new deaths associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The deaths, which aren’t always reported on the date they occur, snap a 10-day streak in which the state reported single-digit fatalities.

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Tuesday’s additions bring the state to 117,245 confirmed infections and 3,706 fatalities during the pandemic’s six months.

The state reported 371 patients currently hospitalized because of the virus, up from Monday’s 347. Of those hospitalizations, 93 require intensive care, an increase of three from Monday. Nearly 15,000 Marylanders have been hospitalized for virus-related reasons during the course of the pandemic.

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Maryland’s reported seven-day testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of virus tests that return positive results during a weeklong period, was 3.62%, up from Monday’s 3.54%. The state has reported a rate below 4% every day since Aug. 8 and under 5% every day since June 26.

The World Health Organization recommends governments see 14 straight days of positivity rates lower than 5% before easing virus-related restrictions. Although Maryland has spent nearly three months under that threshold, it first began its reopening processes before hitting that benchmark.

Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center, which calculates positivity differently than the state, has Maryland’s seven-data positivity rate through Monday’s data as 6.31%, the seventh straight day that mark has exceeded 6% and the 28th lowest among all states. While Maryland determines positivity using tests conducted, Hopkins uses the people tested, meaning individuals who are tested multiple times, regardless of their result, are counted only once in the university’s calculation.

Over the past six months, Maryland has performed more than 2.2 million tests on almost 1.5 million residents. More than a third of the state’s total testing volume has come from tests performed on individuals already tested at least once. Of those tested, about 8% have received at least one positive result.

Of the 18,215 test results the state reported Tuesday, 3.84% returned a positive result, the state’s highest single-day positivity rate in the past six days.

About 57% of Tuesday’s new cases are in residents who are older than 10 but younger than 40, an age range representing 40% of Maryland’s overall population, according to U.S. census data. The state’s reported seven-day positivity rate in residents under 35 year old, 5.05%, is significantly higher than the rate in residents older than 35, 2.79%.

All 10 of those whose deaths were reported Tuesday were residents who are least 50 years old. Only 5.1% of Maryland’s confirmed virus-related deaths have been in residents younger than 50.

Of the 486 confirmed cases for which the state reported the infected person’s race Tuesday, 53% were in residents who are Black or Hispanic, groups representing a combined 42% of Maryland’s overall population. White residents, 58% of the state’s population, were 41% of the new infections and account for 29% of the overall caseload for which race is known.

Despite representing nearly twice the proportion of the state’s population, white residents account for nearly the same portion for Maryland’s virus-related deaths as Black residents, at 42% and 41%, respectively.

About 15% of those infected in Maryland have not been identified by race, while the races of 16 of the dead also are not known.

Four of the state’s 24 jurisdictions have seven-day positivity rates exceeding 5%: Caroline, Cecil Prince George’s and Worchester counties. Prince George’s County, the state’s leader in total cases with nearly 28,000, has seen its rate climb from 4.62% to 5.88% in the past week, its highest since Aug. 8.

Baltimore, at a pandemic-low 2.44%, has reported a seven-day positivity rate below the state’s overall figure for 16 straight days.

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