Maryland reported 2,166 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday and 46 more deaths.
The additions bring the state’s total to 334,519 cases of COVID-19 and 6,560 people who have died due to the disease or complications from it.
The average testing positivity rate statewide over the past seven days is 7.66%, down from 7.76% Wednesday. State health officials reported 37,628 newly completed cases over the past 24 hours, with a daily positivity rate of 7.51%.
As of Thursday, 1,812 people in Maryland are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, 46 fewer than Wednesday, but the 16th day in a row with a count above 1,800.
The majority of cases — 67.27% of Thursday’s total — were reported in the state’s five most populous jurisdictions: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City. The region represents more than 65% of the state’s population.
Prince George’s County, the state’s second-most populous jurisdiction with roughly 909,000 residents, reported the most cases Thursday, with 361. The county’s seven-day positivity rate is currently 9.58%.
Baltimore City reported 228 new cases Thursday and a seven-day positivity rate of 5.73%. Mayor Brandon Scott cited the positivity rate — the state’s lowest — in his decision to lift the city’s indoor and outdoor dining ban.
While the bulk of cases were reported in the state’s population centers, Dorchester County led the state in its infection rate, calculated as the seven-day average number of new daily cases per 100,000 residents.
The county currently has an infection rate of 74.72 cases per 100,000, with health officials reporting 22 new cases there Thursday. The rural Eastern Shore county of about 32,000 residents has reported 517 of its 1,899 total cases since New Year’s Day, or about 27.22% of its caseload since mid-March
Meanwhile, the state’s vaccination campaign delivered 12,801 first doses and 2,761 needed second shots in the last 24 hours. As of Thursday, 264,094 first and 30,880 second doses have been administered statewide.
State data show 4.368% of the population has received the first dose.
Of the 46 people reported to have died from the disease Thursday, 27 were 80 or older.
White Marylanders continue to represent the majority of deaths, as the state reported Thursday that 35 white residents were confirmed to have died due to the disease, bringing the total among whites to 3,270.
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Black residents accounted for nine of the confirmed deaths, bringing the total among Blacks to 2,326. Health officials also reported two Hispanic residents died due to the disease, along with one Asian resident and one person designated as “other” in the racial data. (Deaths and the race of the victims are sometimes reported on different days.)
In the beginning of November, the total number of white residents confirmed to have died from the disease was only about 100 more than Black residents. Since then, 1,543 white Marylanders have been confirmed to have died due to COVID-19, compared with 705 Black residents.
White residents represent roughly half of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, while Black residents make up about 31.1% of Maryland’s residents.
Of the 1,864 cases reported Thursday for which racial data was available, health officials said that 873 cases were diagnosed in white residents, 580 in Black residents, 265 in Hispanic residents, 51 in Asian residents and 95 in other races.