Maryland inched closer to fully vaccinating half of state residents against the coronavirus Sunday as state health officials reported another day of declining positivity rates and hospitalizations.
Here’s where the state’s COVID-19 indicators stood Sunday:
The Maryland Department of Health reported 104 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 460,575 cases since March 2020.
Health officials haven’t reported more than 150 new cases in a single day since June began. Over the past two weeks, the state has averaged about 163 new cases per day, largely due to several days in May with more than 200 cases.
Five more people were reported dead from COVID-19, bringing the state’s fatality count up to 9,431 since health officials began tracking the disease in March 2020. The state has averaged about five deaths per day over the past week.
The state reported that 283 people are currently hospitalized in Maryland due to complications from COVID-19, 19 fewer than a day prior. Of those hospitalized, 74 people required intensive care.
It’s the first time fewer than 300 people were hospitalized since Sept. 20, when the state was experiencing a lull in the pandemic prior to a surge of new cases and hospitalizations later in the fall.
The statewide seven-day average positivity rate is now at 1.22%, down from 1.3% the day before.
The rate, which shows the share of tests returned positive over the past week, is the lowest it’s been since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of positive tests has generally declined over the past month, leading to the record-low positivity rates reported over the past three weeks. A month ago, the seven-day average positivity rate was at 3.65%.
The state reported that 28,672 total doses of the three coronavirus vaccines were administered in the past 24 hours.
Of those, 8,153 were the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, 19,758 were second doses of those vaccines and 761 doses were the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As of Sunday, more than 3 million residents have been fully vaccinated against the illness. That equals about 49.82% of Maryland’s population of more than 6 million residents.
The state has averaged 23,426 vaccinations per day over the past week.
Vaccines by age:
Health officials reported that 70.8% of adult Marylanders have received at least their first dose of a vaccine, including 85.3% of people 65 or older, 73.7% of people 50 to 64 and 59.1% of people 18 to 49.
Additionally, 40% children aged 12 to 17 years old have received at least their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, according to the state. The two-dose vaccine is the only one currently authorized for use on that age group.
Vaccines by race:
About 2.48 times as many white residents have been fully vaccinated than Black residents, according to available racial data from the state health department. There are about 1.88 times as many white residents in Maryland compared with Black residents, as the demographics represent about 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While a vaccination disparity remains, it has been decreasing over time as more vaccines get into the arms of Maryland residents. About a month ago, 2.7 times as many white people had been fully vaccinated compared to Black residents.
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According to the state, roughly 7.72% of fully vaccinated people whose ethnicity was known identified as Latino. The demographic represents about 10.6% of Maryland’s population and while the vaccination rate is still not in line with population numbers, it has risen from about 5.8% of people about a month ago.
Vaccines by county:
Howard (58.4%), Montgomery (54.8%) and Talbot (53.4%) counties continue to lead the state in the proportion of fully vaccinated residents, according to health department data.
Howard and Montgomery counties have two of the three highest median household incomes in the state and among the smallest shares of people living in poverty, U.S. Census Bureau estimates show. Talbot is near the state average on both measures.
The only other county to report more than 50% of residents fully vaccinated was Frederick County, where 50.15% of residents are fully inoculated, according to the state health department.
Somerset (31.6%), Cecil (33.2%) and Garrett (35.1%) counties have seen the smallest shares of their people fully vaccinated.
Somerset has the lowest median household income and the highest percentage of people living in poverty. Garrett is not far ahead; Cecil’s metrics are around the state average.
About 38.9% of Baltimore city residents and 47.6% of Baltimore County residents have been fully vaccinated.