Maryland health officials confirmed 751 new cases of the coronavirus statewide Wednesday and 51 more deaths.
The additions bring to 34,812 the total number of cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, in Maryland. Deaths now amount to 1,694 plus an additional 115 that officials believe probably died due to the disease or complications of it, but the diagnosis has not yet been confirmed by a lab.
Nursing home deaths account for 984 — more than half — of the state’s death toll, according to new data released Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continued its two-week downward trend, dipping to 1,550 patients, 13 fewer than Tuesday.
Later Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan relaxed some restrictions on businesses and social gatherings, starting at 5 p.m. Friday, as new hospitalizations due to the virus have begun to plateau. With the exception of a spike Monday, new hospitalizations also appear to be trending down.
Hogan has said he wanted to see the state’s new case, death and hospitalization data plateau or decline over 14 days before starting to relax restrictions in a phased way.
In total, 6,404 people in Maryland have been hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, with 2,456 since released from isolation, the state reported.
Maryland’s Hispanic population continues to be affected by the pandemic at a rate that far outpaces any other race or ethnicity in the state, which experts say could be partly due to a lack of social distancing at labor-intensive jobs and the prominence of multi-family housing in Latino communities.
As of Wednesday, 7,483 Hispanic residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 209 more cases since Tuesday.
It’s the largest increase in cases of any race or ethnicity over the past 24 hours, despite the fact that only about 1 in 10 Maryland residents identifies as Hispanic or Latino. As of Wednesday, more Hispanic residents have been diagnosed with the coronavirus than white residents, despite the fact that whites outnumber Latinos more than five to one in Maryland.
For comparison, 11,140 black residents have contracted the disease as of Tuesday, the largest total number of cases for any one race or ethnicity. However, the state’s black population is nearly triple that of its Hispanic population.
Prince George’s and Montgomery counties continue to lead the state in total cases, with 10,072 and 7,283, respectively.
The 20783 ZIP code — which includes parts of Hyattsville, Adelphi and Langley Park in Prince George’s County — leads the state in total cases with 1,242, adding 22 more in the past 24 hours. According to censusreporter.org, 65% of the population in the 20783 zip code is Hispanic and 24% are black.
In Baltimore City — which added 72 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday to raise its total to 3,476 confirmed cases — neighborhoods in northwestern and southeastern parts of the city continue to have a high number of cases.
The 21224 ZIP code, which includes Canton, Highlandtown and parts of Dundalk, has 540 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, the most of any ZIP code within the city limits. About 19% of the population of the 21224 ZIP code is Hispanic, according to censusreporter.org.
The 21215 ZIP code, which includes parts of Northwest Baltimore and Baltimore County, has 482 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, two more since Tuesday. Officials said that nearly half those cases, 231, were confirmed at the FutureCare Lochearn nursing home in Northwest Baltimore. As of Wednesday, the state reported 20 residents at the facility have died due to the disease.
Silver Spring in Montgomery County also continues to see a high number of cases as three ZIP codes associated with the city — 20906, 20902 and 20904 — have a combined 1,954 confirmed coronavirus cases.