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Maryland sees its largest daily increase of coronavirus cases since May 19, while setting daily test results record

Maryland confirmed 1,288 new coronavirus cases Saturday, the largest single-day increase in new confirmed infections since May 19 and third-highest overall, though the increase came on a day the state set a high mark for the number of completed tests.

It is Maryland’s 12th straight day of adding more than 500 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and brings the state up to 83,054 total cases.

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The 34,874 test results reported Saturday are nearly 6,000 more than the state’s previous single-day high. Of those tests, 3.92% returned a positive result, the sixth time Maryland has reported a single-day testing positivity rate below 4%. By comparison, when the state reported 1,784 new cases May 19, Maryland reported 5,757 test results. Maryland has reported at least 10,000 test results every day since July 7.

The World Health Organization recommends 14 straight days of a positivity rate below 5% before governments begin easing virus-related restrictions. Maryland began its reopening process before hitting that benchmark, but the state hasn’t reported a seven-day average positivity rate above 5% in a month, with that figure dropping to 4.48% on Saturday.

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Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus research center, which calculates positivity rates based on people tested rather than testing volume, has Maryland’s seven-day rolling positivity rate at 5.61%, the fifth-lowest among the 33 states with rates above 5%.

In all, Maryland has reported completing more than 1 million tests on about 825,000 people, with more than one in every 10 people tested getting at least one positive result.

None of Maryland’s jurisdictions with at least 500 total cases have seven-day positivity rates above 6%, according to state data. Baltimore County (5.94%), Prince George’s County (5.83%), Baltimore (5.64%) and Charles County (5.59%) are the only jurisdictions with seven-day average positivity rates over 5% and more than 500 total cases.

The state also reported 11 more deaths Saturday. The confirmed death toll from the disease or complications from it since March has reached 3,304. Over 70% of the victims whose ages were known were at least 70 years old, while about 53% of the caseload has been residents in their 20s, 30s or 40s. More than 45% of Saturday’s new cases were in those in their 20s and 30s.

The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Maryland increased by 12 to 545 people, with 157 in intensive care, according to state data. That figure, one of the data points state officials are monitoring most closely, has increased each day since July 17, rising by more than 40% since July 13.

Among those who have been or are infected whose race is known — about 83% of the overall caseload — 36% are Black, 30% are Hispanic and 26% are white. Of those killed by the virus’ effects, 42% of those whose race was known were white and 41% were Black. Maryland’s overall percentage of white residents is nearly double its Black population, at 59% to 31%. About 10% of Maryland’s population is Hispanic.

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