xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland gives 31,000 vaccine shots in 24 hours and reports 2,392 new coronavirus cases, 45 deaths

Maryland reported 2,392 cases of the coronavirus and 45 deaths Saturday, a slight decline that comes as the state ramps up its vaccination campaign by administering 31,000 shots in the last 24 hours.

The state has now recorded 339,307 COVID-19 infections and 6,662 fatalities since officials began tracking the disease in March, health department data shows. Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized declined for the fourth day in a row.

Advertisement

Some 1,717 remained in the hospital because of the disease Saturday, 51 fewer than a day earlier. The portion of patients who required intensive care declined to 405.

More than 30,000 people have been hospitalized with the disease in Maryland throughout the pandemic. Like hospitalizations, the state’s seven-day testing positivity rate continued trending downward, though it is still elevated compared to the pandemic lows experienced in September.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The rate was 7.39% Friday, 0.11 percentage points lower than a day earlier, which marks five days on the decline.

Buoying the rate are counties at opposite ends of the state who’ve maintained positivity rates above the state average for varying periods.

On the Eastern Shore, nearby Dorchester and Worcester counties have the highest and third-highest rates in the state.

Dorchester’s rate of 11.55% positivity Friday marked five days on the decline but was still the highest figure statewide and has stayed above the state average for most of 2021. Meanwhile, Worcester’s rate has been fluctuating for about a week and increased Friday to 11.51% after declining a day earlier. Its rate has hovered above the statewide average since Dec. 13.

The rate in Garrett County, the farthest-west jurisdiction in Maryland, declined for the fourth day in a row, but checked in at 11.52% Friday, good for second-highest in the state. Its rate has remained above the state’s average since mid-October.

Maryland reported completing 47,692 coronavirus tests in the past 24 hours and has now conducted almost 6.7 million tests. Maryland’s case rate decreased to 36.1 cases per 100,000 people Friday, marking 10 days of decline after a pandemic peak of 53.39 on Jan. 12. The state’s rate is well below the national average of 56.8 cases per 100,000 people.

Even though its rate has been declining for four days, Dorchester County was the only jurisdiction in Maryland Friday with a rate higher than the national average. With about 32,000 residents, Dorchester reported an average of 64.43 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

While a few of the measures to track the virus trended downward in Maryland, the state continued to hurry its vaccine rollout along. Maryland reported administering 31,112 doses of the vaccine — 27,697 first shots and 3,415 second shots — over the past 24 hours. That’s the most shots the state has administered in a day since the first dose in December.

The milestone, though it still ranks near the bottom of the states in doses administered per 100,000 residents, prompted praise from Gov. Larry Hogan for those who have administered the vaccine.

Hogan, a Republican, said in a Tweet he is “immensely grateful for all of the nurses, public health workers, members of the [Maryland National Guard], and everyone who is working around the clock to quickly and safely get more shots into more arms.”

More than 308,000 people have received their first shot in Maryland, approximately 5.1% of the population, while 37,507 have received their second dose, the state said.

Dorchester, Garrett and Worcester counties, which paced the state in testing positivity, have given first shots to the greatest percentages of their populations. Worcester County is the most populous of the three, with about 52,000 residents.

Having stuck first shots into the arms of 6.28% of its population, Baltimore County paced Maryland’s five largest jurisdictions. Baltimore had the second-highest proportion, with 4.91%. Meanwhile, the state’s two most populated counties, Montgomery and Prince George’s lagged behind, having administered first doses to 3.94% and 1.82% of their residents, respectively. Prince George’s rate is last in the state.

Those currently eligible to receive the vaccine include front-line health care workers, first responders, nursing home residents and staff, people 75 and older, some teachers and school staff, residents of assisted living facilities, those in group homes and other congregate living facilities, as well as high-risk inmates and jail detainees.

Health department statistics show people 70 and older have received about 19% (55,980) of the first doses administered in Maryland for which age data was available, a slightly smaller share than people between 50 and 59 years old, who’ve received 57,630 first shots.

Some Maryland seniors have had difficulty signing up for their immunizations, a process that’s almost exclusively available online.

Eligibility will expand again Monday to include people ages 65 to 74, more public safety and health workers, and certain essential workers. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates residents 65 and older account for about 16% of Maryland’s population.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement