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Maryland’s confirmed coronavirus cases reach 8,936; 6 more Pleasant View Nursing Home residents die

The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases and the related death toll continued to mount Monday in Maryland as the state reported its first death inside the correctional system and six more residents of a Mount Airy nursing home died.

Maryland added 711 new cases Monday, bringing the total confirmed to 8,936, as testing becomes more available, the state health department announced Monday.

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The state’s death toll jumped by 27 to 262 people, including a man in his 60s who was being held at the Jessup Correctional Institution, according to state officials.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services confirmed the man was hospitalized for several weeks and had underlying health conditions. He was one of 10 inmates at Jessup diagnosed with COVID-19.

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There are a total of 93 confirmed cases in the Maryland correctional system.

Attorneys and health officials in Baltimore and around the state have repeatedly called on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to act swiftly to release older and nonviolent inmates as the outbreak spreads. In mid-March, experts said that “jails and prisons promote spread” due to the close contact inmates have with one another in the facilities.

At Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy, 24 residents are now dead and dozens more residents and staff members are infected. While the cluster at the Carroll County facility is particularly deadly — nearly one in four residents have died so far — at least 90 such facilities in Maryland have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19.

The nursing home outbreaks prompted Hogan to create “strike teams” to support their staffs and mandate more rigorous testing and use of protective gear.

Hogan took his plea for billions more in aid to state governments to the White House, making a pitch to Vice President Mike Pence during a Monday conference call.

“The COVID-19 response is resulting in catastrophic damage to state economies, and fiscal assistance is critical now so that we can continue to lead this fight,” Hogan, a Republican, said in a statement issued after a conference call between the White House and the nation’s governors.

Hogan said he asked Trump administration officials to help break a “logjam” in the Senate that he says is holding up aid to the states.

Hogan is chairman of the National Governors Association. Over the weekend, Hogan and the association vice chairman, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a joint statement calling on the federal government to send more cash to the states.

At a media briefing Monday, President Donald Trump acknowledged Hogan’s request and said he appreciated it. Pence later commended Hogan during the briefing for the actions he has taken to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes.

State governments are grappling with increased expenses for their response to the coronavirus pandemic at the same time that they’re taking in drastically less money in taxes, as people have been thrown out of work and aren’t spending as much.

One worst-case scenario from Maryland’s comptroller predicted the state could lose up to $2.8 billion in tax revenue through the end of June if the current stay-at-home order remains in place that long.

Speaking Monday on CNN, Hogan said he thought the administration was “generally” supportive of getting more aid to the states. Hogan told host Anderson Cooper that he also has spoken to Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about his request.

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Asked for comment, the White House released a statement attributed to a coronavirus task force spokesman that said: "We look forward to further discussions with governors on how we can continue to work together on the locally executed, state managed, and federally supported response efforts.”

In Maryland, some state leaders are continuing their pleas to Hogan for more detailed data on the known cases of COVID-19.

Del. Nick J. Mosby called on Hogan last week to release coronavirus case data by race and ZIP code. The governor announced Sunday that the state would begin posting COVID-19 cases by ZIP code “so that Marylanders can better understand the spread of this deadly virus.”

In a statement Monday, Mosby thanked Hogan and his administration for responding to the request, but said Marylanders are still missing “pertinent” data broken down by ZIP code including the number of positive and negative test results, the number of hospitalizations and number of deaths.

“Without a complete picture of the zip code data, it is difficult to understand the totality of this virus and develop a comprehensive plan of action," Mosby said.

State officials confirmed the 21215 ZIP code covering portions of Northwest Baltimore’s Arlington neighborhood has the highest case count in the state, with more than 153 cases found.

Prince George’s and Montgomery counties continue to lead all other Maryland counties in overall cases, reporting 2,205 and 1,756 cases, respectively.

In Prince George’s County, ZIP codes including 20706, 20744, 20772, 20774 and 20747 have a reported 143, 132, 124, 120, and 115 cases, respectively.

State officials also identified three ZIP codes in Montgomery County — 20904, 20902 and 20906 — as hot spots, with 137, 135 and 134 news cases each.

Baltimore County’s 21234 ZIP code, covering areas of Parkville, reported 118 cases.

There are 103 cases in the Mount Airy ZIP code of 21771 where the Pleasant View Nursing Home is located.

While ZIP code data is being shared in an effort to be transparent, Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer said there are some key points people should understand when they see such numbers.

“Mount Airy has high numbers, but most of the cases in that area are from the nursing home outbreak there,” Singer said. "And even if you live in an area with a low number of cases, you still need to take all the same precautions, because the coronavirus is spreading throughout the county. We know the stay at home order is a burden, but we are counting on everyone to continue social distancing to protect our community.”

The Maryland Department of Health reported Monday that more than 42,815 people have tested negative for COVID-19. The state said 1,975 people have been hospitalized because of the virus and 603 have been released from isolation.

A partnership between Food Rescue Baltimore and the Arabber Preservation Society brings food and information to Baltimoreans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The confirmed cases and related deaths continue to be disproportionately black, with 39% of confirmed cases where the race is known found in African American residents, despite being 29% of the population, state data shows. They also account for about half the fatal cases where race is known.

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The state still has incomplete racial demographic data, as the health department could not provide such information for 1,667 cases throughout the state, including 28 fatal infections.

Women continue to account for more COVID-19 cases than men, 4,831 compared with 4,105. However, 145 men have died as a result of the infections compared with 117 women.

Baltimore Sun reporter McKenna Oxenden and Baltimore Sun Media reporter Mary Grace Keller contributed to this article.

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