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Maryland reports fewest new daily coronavirus cases since October; 26 more deaths

Maryland health officials reported 722 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, the fewest for a single day since Oct. 26, along with 26 more deaths associated with the virus.

The state has reported fewer than 1,200 new cases for eight straight days and has been below that mark for 11 of the past 15 days.

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Monday’s low case count coincides with the state reporting fewer than 20,000 test results, following five straight days with at least 30,000 reported.

The latest additions bring Maryland to 371,705 infections and 7,400 confirmed fatalities since the state reported its first case in March 2020.

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Another 10,030 Marylanders received their first COVID-19 vaccination, the state said, compared to 13,720 recipients the prior day. Nearly 900,000 vaccine doses have been administered overall, according to state data, leaving 4.04% of Marylanders fully vaccinated, while 10.74% have received at least one of the needed two shots. The state has averaged more than 27,700 doses administered per day over the past week, the highest that measure has been.

About 38,000 of the Marylanders who are fully vaccinated are at least 70 years old. That’s fewer than those in 30s, 40s and 50s, likely due to the vaccinations of many health care workers, first responders and other essential workers.

More than two-thirds of residents who have received both doses have been white, among recipients whose races are known. About 16.9% of second-dose recipients have been Black, a race that accounts for about 31% of Maryland’s overall population. About 59% of the state’s residents are white.

At least 5% of the population in each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions has received at least one dose of vaccine. All but seven jurisdictions are exceeding the state’s overall percentage in that metric, though that group of seven includes four of Maryland’s five largest counties by population: Montgomery County (10.14%), Anne Arundel County (9.90%), Baltimore City (9.32%) and Prince George’s County (5.18%). Prince George’s is the state’s lone jurisdiction to vaccinate less than 7.5% of its population.

Despite having the third-lowest percentage of its population to receive at least one shot, Baltimore City is outpacing eight counties in percentage of full vaccinations. At 4.14%, the city is exceeding the state’s overall percentage.

The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that return positive results, was under 5% for a fourth straight day, falling from 4.63% to 4.53%. A month ago, Maryland’s reported positivity rate was 8.31%, and the state’s figure had not been under 5% for more than two months.

With the seven-day positivity rates for those older than 35 and younger than 35 at 4.56% and 4.53%, respectively, both rates are under 4.6% for the first time since Nov. 3. Maryland residents younger than 40 account for almost exactly half the state’s infections but represent only 1.5% of deaths, among those whose ages were known.

There are 1,113 patients in Maryland hospitals facing the virus’ effects, 53 fewer than Sunday. The number in intensive care dropped by eight to 285. Both metrics are at their lowest points since mid-November.

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