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Maryland reports nearly 1,000 new coronavirus cases, 50 deaths as hospitalizations hold steady

Maryland’s key statistics measuring the coronavirus outbreak held steady Saturday, as the state reported nearly 1,000 newly confirmed infections, 50 deaths and 1,500 hospitalizations.

The state added 982 cases of COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, to its tally, bringing its total to 37,968.

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The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 — the main measure Gov. Larry Hogan used to justify a decision to lift a statewide stay-at-home order Friday evening — increased for the first time since Tuesday, but only slightly, from 1,496 to 1,500. The number of people being treated for coronavirus infections in hospitals has fallen about 12% over the course of May.

The state’s death toll reached 1,842 amid continuing signs the death rate has stabilized at a 14-day average of about 50 deaths per day here.

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Maryland is putting those stabilizing trends to the test starting this weekend, with businesses starting to reopen outside the immediate Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metropolitan regions. In Harford and Carroll counties, activity began perking up as soon as the stay-at-home order lifted at 5 p.m. Friday.

Hogan’s latest order allows local jurisdictions to decide which “low risk” activities to resume, such as opening retail stores at 50% capacity, allowing outdoor church services, and permitting hair salons and barbershops to provide services by appointment. A protest calling the restrictions “tyrannical” nonetheless went on as scheduled in Annapolis on Friday.

But in the state’s most populous areas — Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties — stay-at-home orders remain in effect. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said the city’s reopening “must and will be guided by the data and science,” and urged residents to continue to stay home.

The latest Maryland Department of Health data on the coronavirus outbreak shows those areas continue to see the brunt of cases and deaths. There are more than 11,000 cases in Prince George’s, nearly 8,000 in Montgomery, more than 4,500 in Baltimore County and over 3,700 in Baltimore City.

Black residents account for nearly one third of the state’s cases, and almost a quarter of those infected are Hispanic. Those groups make up about 31% and 10% of the state population, respectively, according to Census data.

While people older than 60 account for about 28% of Maryland’s coronavirus cases, they represent 84% of deaths in the state confirmed to be related to COVID-19.

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