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Maryland reports 272 new coronavirus cases, 3 more deaths

Maryland health officials confirmed 272 new COVID-19 cases Monday in addition to 3 more deaths — the lowest number of daily fatalities since March 31.

So far, the state has reported 69,904 cases and 3,121 deaths from the illness caused by the coronavirus.

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Maryland has thus far avoided a new spike in coronavirus cases, while other states have battled large increases after relaxing restrictions.

Each day in the last week, the state has reported fewer than 550 new cases. Monday’s new case count was the lowest since June 18. At its peak, Maryland reported 1,784 cases in a single day.

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In Maryland, deaths are not always reported the day they occur, but Monday marked the 11th straight day that health officials reported fewer than 20 coronavirus-related casualties. Maryland had no such days from April 10 to June 6.

As of Monday, 403 people are hospitalized in Maryland as a result of the disease, down from 409 on Sunday. This continues the downward trend in hospitalizations dating back to July 1.

The state’s testing positivity rate is 4.5%, a new low. This rate is calculated as a seven-day average, but the state’s single-day positivity rate —3.36% — is also a new low.

Monday marks the 11th straight day the state’s positivity rate has been below 5%. The World Health Organization recommends 14 consecutive days with such a rate before governments loosen virus-related restrictions, but Maryland has been operating under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, which only calls for two weeks of a positivity rate below 15%.

Gov. Larry Hogan applauded Monday’s numbers.

“As we continue to see encouraging trends in all of our key health metrics, widespread testing across each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions remains a critical component of our long-term recovery,” the Republican governor said in a statement.

As of Sunday, Baltimore County is the state’s 11th jurisdiction to test at least 10% of its population, a statewide goal, Hogan said.

Over the past week, the largest increase in cases has come from people between 20 and 29 years old, prompting concerns among officials that younger adults are not adhering to social distancing and calls for wearing masks. More than 500 new cases have been reported in this group since June 29.

Prince George’s and Montgomery counties continue to lead the state in coronavirus cases, with 19,040 and 15,163 respectively. They are followed by Baltimore County with 8,336 cases, Baltimore City with 7,960 and Anne Arundel County with 5,290.

Race data is not reported for a sizable chunk of Maryland’s coronavirus cases, but African Americans have the highest percentage of cases, with 35%. According to the Census Bureau, about 30.9% of Maryland’s population is Black. About 32% of the state’s cases are among Hispanic people, who make up just 10.9% of Maryland’s population. Although white people are 58.8% of the state’s population, they make up just 24.2% of Maryland’s COVID-19 cases.

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