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Maryland reports 818 new coronavirus cases, 4 deaths Saturday

Maryland officials reported 818 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths attributed to the disease on Saturday, bringing the total of state residents who have tested positive just a few hundred short of the 100,000 mark.

All told, 99,693 Marylanders have now tested positive for the coronavirus since testing began in March. There have been 3,499 deaths that were confirmed to be caused by the coronavirus. The state averaged just over 750 new confirmed cases a day over the first two weeks of August.

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The number of people being treated in hospitals increased slightly. As of Saturday, 460 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus. That’s up by three from Friday, when 457 people were hospitalized; 107 of them are in intensive care, the same as on Friday.

Maryland reported Saturday that the state’s seven-day average positivity rate is 3.43%, down from 3.63% Friday.

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The World Health Organization recommends 14 straight days of positivity rates beneath 5% before easing virus-related restrictions. The state’s reported seven-day average positivity has been below that threshold since June 24, when it was 5.05%.

Johns Hopkins University, meanwhile, has Maryland at a seven-day rolling positivity rate of 4.9%. That rate puts Maryland among 14 states, plus Washington, D.C., that meet the recommendation of having a positivity rate of 5% or less, according to Hopkins’ coronavirus resource center.

The positivity-rate figure Hopkins includes in its daily reports is consistently higher than that of the state. The difference comes from the data used in the calculations. Maryland officials calculate the positivity rate as the number of positive tests divided by total testing volume over a seven-day period. Rather than the total testing volume, Hopkins uses the number of people tested, or the combination of new cases and people who tested negative.

The virus continues to be most deadly for the oldest people who contract it. Of the 5,345 confirmed infections in those 80 or older, about one in three have resulted in death.

But many younger people are also testing positive for coronavirus. More than 18,700 cases have been confirmed in people ages 30-39, and more than 17,600 cases were among those ages 20-29. Together, the groups account for about 36% of all confirmed cases.

Maryland does not have race data for about 15% of its cases. In about 29% of the cases it does, the person who tested positive was Hispanic, a group that represents about 11% of Maryland’s population. Those who are Black, about 31% of the state’s overall population, accounted for about 38% of the cases for which race was known. About 26% of cases in which race was known were among white residents, who make up about 59% of Maryland’s population.

Of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, the most cases have been recorded in Prince George’s County with 24,588, Montgomery County with 18,925, Baltimore County with 13,847, Baltimore City with 13,341 and Anne Arundel County with 7,618.

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