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Maryland adds 646 new coronavirus cases, 6 deaths Friday

Maryland health officials added 646 cases of the coronavirus and six fatalities to the state’s tally on Friday, pushing the total number of infections to 114,724 and the death toll to 3,685.

Maryland ranks 15th in the country in the number of deaths caused by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has surpassed more densely populated states, including Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.

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The state listed its testing positivity rate Friday at 3.76%. But the Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center, which also measures positivity rates in the United States, listed it at 6.15%.

The two entities calculate positivity rates using different data sets. Maryland assesses the total number of tests administered, including repeat tests to the same person, while Hopkins factors in the absolute number of people tested. Both use the World Health Organization’s recommended 5% metric as the barometer for judging the spread of the disease and a given locality’s testing capacity.

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The state reported several jurisdictions as having positivity rates over the 5% threshold Friday, including Caroline (5.53%), Cecil (5.81%), Charles (5.25%), Prince George’s (5.26%), Wicomico (6.98%) and Worcester (5.31%) counties. Last week, when Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the state would move into the third stage of its reopening plan, only two counties had testing positivity rates over 5% — Caroline (5.08%) and Worcester (6.88%) counties, the latter of which is home to Ocean City and its beaches.

As of Friday, 369 people were listed as hospitalized, a slight uptick from the day before. Of those hospitalized, 280 were being treated in the acute care unit and 89 were in the intensive care unit, state data show. More than 14,700 people have been hospitalized in Maryland since March, according to state figures.

The coronavirus continues to affect Black and Latino and Hispanic people more acutely than other racial and ethnic groups. In Maryland, Black people make up about 32% of the total cases and 41% of the related fatalities despite constituting about a third of the state’s population. Latino and Hispanic Marylanders, who make up less than 10% of the population, account for nearly 22% of the infections and about 12% of the death toll, state figures show.

People in their 20s and 30s account for a plurality of all cases while older adults, particularly those over 80, constitute the majority of deaths. As of Friday, nearly 9,000 children between ages 10 and 19 had contracted the coronavirus since March, and two of them have died, data show. No deaths have been reported among children younger than 10.

This article will be updated.

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