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

Maryland reports 2,319 more coronavirus cases, 29 deaths as pandemic disrupts Thanksgiving gatherings

Maryland reported 2,319 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 29 deaths tied to COVID-19 on Thanksgiving, continuing a national resurgence of the pandemic that prompted health officials to recommend skipping the usual holiday gatherings with family and friends this year.

Thursday’s cases amounted to the sixth-highest single daily total since the state began tracking the pandemic in March — all six occurring in the past two weeks. More than 20 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported across the state for three straight days.

Advertisement

The state has now reported 1,000 or more new cases a day for 23 straight days and 2,000 or more cases for nine of the past 13 days, a daily total that Maryland hadn’t reached once until this month.

The number of patients hospitalized with virus-related complications climbed by 47 to 1,453 on Thursday, according to state health officials. Hospitalizations have more than quadrupled since early October and are approaching the late April peak of more than 1,700.

Advertisement

Intensive-care hospitalizations have more than doubled since the beginning of November. Of those currently in the hospital, 339 were in intensive care, 31 more than on Wednesday, and 1,114 were in acute care, up 16 from the previous day.

Deaths and hospitalizations can lag behind an increase in cases, as it may take weeks for some patients’ symptoms to worsen.

Gov. Larry Hogan has said he and First Lady Yumi Hogan will not be hosting their family at the governor’s mansion for Thanksgiving. The Republican governor said Monday that State Police will be dispatched across Maryland this week to enforce virus-related restrictions.

Nearly 90% of state residents are planning to stay home for Thanksgiving, according to a recent AAA survey. Half of those who responded to the survey said they are staying home because of the coronavirus, the survey said.

A University of Maryland Medical System survey released Wednesday, however, told a different story: 44% of Marylanders surveyed had not canceled in-person Thanksgiving or holiday plans due to the virus, according to the survey.

Nearly 60% of those surveyed in the Baltimore region said they had canceled or planned to cancel their in-person plans, while more than half of those in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore had not, according to the survey.

Dr. David Marcozzi, UMMS COVID-19 incident commander and a top medical adviser to Hogan, said holiday gatherings this year “could be setting up a perfect storm” that could significantly strain the state’s health care system.

Western Maryland and parts of the Eastern Shore, which initially did not see as many outbreaks as more populated areas, are now being ravaged by the virus.

Allegany County, which has become a virus hotspot, added 96 new cases and four more deaths Thursday. The new cases reported Thursday alone represented 3% of the county’s cases since March.

As of Wednesday, Allegany’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 was 171.43, more than four times higher than the statewide average of 38.54.

Garrett County added 45 new cases, nearly 7% of that county’s total since March, on Thursday. The county’s seven-day average case rate was 121.12 per 100,000, more than triple the statewide rate, as of Wednesday.

Somerset County on the Eastern Shore had a seven-day average case rate of 107.63 per 100,000 people, as of Wednesday.

Advertisement

Baltimore County and Baltimore City’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people both remained above the statewide average as of Wednesday, at 43.63 and 46.99, respectively.

Black and Latino Marylanders continue to account for a disproportionate number of the state’s cases.

African Americans, who make up about 31% of the state’s residents, according to the U.S. Census, accounted for 35% of the coronavirus cases in which the patient’s race was known.

Latino residents, who make up about 11% of Marylanders, accounted for 22.5% of the cases in which the patient’s race was known. By contrast, white people, who make up about 60% of the state, make up less than 35% of the cases in which the patient’s race was known.

COVID-19 is particularly deadly to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems. Those ages 60 and older have made up nearly 87% of the state’s fatalities while accounting for less than 20% of the total cases.

Younger Marylanders continue to drive the surge in infections, according to state data. Those in their 20s and 30s accounted for about 35% of the state’s new cases Thursday.

Among those reported to have died Thursday, 24 were 60 or older, four were in their 50s, and one was in their 40s.

Maryland has now reported a total of 190,480 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,392 deaths since March.

The state’s reported seven-day rate of positive cases was 6.38%, down slightly from 6.52% Wednesday.

Baltimore Sun reporter Ben Leonard contributed to this article.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement