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Maryland coronavirus hospitalizations decline to lowest level in eight weeks, health officials say

As Maryland enters the second phase of reopening the economy, state officials reported Sunday that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped to its lowest number in eight weeks.

Health officials reported that 1,003 Marylanders were currently hospitalized with the virus on Sunday, 56 fewer than the day before. That’s a nearly two-month low, the fewest number of hospitalizations since April 10, when 918 people were hospitalized.

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Gov. Larry Hogan has frequently cited dwindling hospitalization numbers as he continues to reopen the economy.

The 404 patients in intensive care on Sunday also represent a decline of 14 from the previous day and the fewest since April 12.

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As of Sunday, there are 57,973 cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, representing an increase of 491 cases since Saturday. Nine more people died because of complications from the illness, bringing the state total up to 2,625 fatalities.

Another key metric — the percentage of people who tested positive for the disease — continued to inch downward from 8% on Saturday to 7.63% Sunday. The positivity rate remains among the highest in the nation, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. It also is well above the 5% target rate many public health experts say is ideal for controlling the virus.

The state has conducted a total of 427,155 tests, as the availability of tests for the virus continues to ramp up statewide. So far, 306,830 people in Maryland have tested negative for the deadly virus.

Baltimore City and Baltimore County together reported 12,892 cases of COVID-19, while Montgomery and Prince George’s counties continue to lead the state with 12,734 and 16,434, respectively. Garrett County has the lowest case number in Maryland, with 10 cases and no deaths, while Somerset County has the next-lowest number, with 75 cases and three deaths.

The virus continues to disproportionately affect African American and Latino communities. As of Sunday, the state’s African American population had 16,593 cases with 1,100 deaths, while Hispanics have suffered 15,040 cases and 255 deaths. Both racial demographics combined constitute roughly 40% of the state’s population.

Most of the state’s confirmed cases have been recorded in people under the age of 60, but an overwhelming majority of the state’s confirmed deaths have been people over the age of 60.

Baltimore Sun reporters Frederick N. Rasmussen and Daniel Oyefusi contributed to this article.

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