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Maryland reports 530 new coronavirus cases, no new deaths

A health care worker puts a cap on a swab test as she and others conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Aug. 6, 2020, in Chicago.
A health care worker puts a cap on a swab test as she and others conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Aug. 6, 2020, in Chicago. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

Maryland officials on Sunday reported 530 new cases of the coronavirus and no new deaths.

Sunday’s additions bring the state’s total to 135,657 cases of COVID-19 since officials began tracking infections in mid-March. Officials say 3,891 people have died due to the disease.

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As of Sunday, 433 people in Maryland are hospitalized due to the disease, 11 more than reported on Saturday.

Health officials reported that seven more people are being treated in intensive care units, bringing the total to 115 as of Sunday. The state has now seen six consecutive days with more than 100 people hospitalized in ICUs, after it went most of September and the beginning of October in double digits.

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Officials reported 318 people are being treated in acute care units, four more than Saturday.

Of Sunday’s 29,528 recently completed tests, 2.25% were positive, according to Maryland health officials.

The seven-day average rolling positivity rate is at 3.14% as of Sunday, according to the state.

Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center has a positivity rate of 2.32%.

The center previously calculated the seven-day average rate using the number of people tested, rather than the number of total tests. However, Hopkins’ data provider changed Friday how it maps Maryland’s data to include all viral tests performed. That meant Hopkins reported a rate above 5% as recently as Friday, then reported a 2.27% rate Saturday.

The World Health Organization recommends governments wait until their jurisdictions experience positivity rates below 5% for 14 consecutive days before easing restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

Prince George’s County, Maryland’s second most populated county, has a positivity rate of 5.39% as of Sunday, according to state health officials. It is the only jurisdiction in the state to have reported a 5% positivity rate or higher.

Montgomery County, the state’s most populated county, reported the most new cases for a jurisdiction Sunday with 104. The county’s positivity rate is at 2.49% as of Sunday, according to Maryland health officials.

More than two-thirds of all of Sunday’s reported cases, 362, came from five jurisdictions within the populated Baltimore-Washington D.C. metropolitan corridor — Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, as well as Baltimore City. Roughly 65.52% of the state’s population lives in those jurisdictions.

Adults younger than 50 years old represent a disproportionate rate of Sunday’s newly reported infections. According to state officials, about 52.1% of new cases were reported from people aged from 20 to 49 years old. For comparison, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates this demographic represents roughly 40% of the state’s population.

The pandemic continues to disproportionately affect the state’s Black and Latino populations. Of roughly 61.59% of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 cases where information on race was available, 71,076, were found in Black or Hispanic residents. The two demographic groups represent less than half the state’s population.

In comparison, white residents — who constitute more than 58% of the state’s population, or about 50% when accounting for those who also identify as Hispanic or Latino — represented about 30.69% of all confirmed cases with 35,417. While the split is still disproportionate compared with the state’s population, white residents have slowly become a larger portion of the state’s total cases in recent months after representing less than a quarter of all cases in mid-July.

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However, white people have a higher mortality rate compared with other races, with 1,660 cases proving fatal for a rate of about 4.69% as of Sunday. About 3.76% of cases among Blacks and about 1.56% of cases among Latinos were fatal. All of these rates have been decreasing at varying rates in recent months.

The state does not have racial demographic data for 20,263 COVID-19 cases.

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