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Maryland reports 1,554 coronavirus cases and 31 new deaths, surpasses 600,000 administered vaccine doses

Maryland health officials reported 1,554 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, along with 31 more deaths associated with the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

The new cases mark an uptick from Tuesday and Wednesday when the state reported fewer than 1,000 new cases on consecutive days for the first time since early November. That dip, however, coincided with fewer than 20,000 test results being reported on back-to-back days for the first time since late October — a decline likely attributable to the recent snow.

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The state reported 35,487 test results Thursday, more in line with its recent reporting figures than the prior two days.

Thursday’s additions bring Maryland to 359,037 infections and 7,074 fatalities in the nearly 11 months since the state reported its first case in March 2020.

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Another 14,515 Marylanders received their first COVID-19 vaccination, the state said, compared to 9,429 recipients the prior day. With 14,268 second doses given Wednesday — the most for a single day — more than 600,000 vaccine doses have been administered overall, according to state data.

That leaves 1.92% of Marylanders fully vaccinated with two doses, while 8.04% have received at least the first of the needed two shots. The 28,783 vaccine doses administered Wednesday overall exceeded the combined total of the previous two days, which may have been hampered because of weather-related closings.

Prince George’s County, the state’s most populated jurisdiction, continued to have the slowest rollout for its vaccination campaign with 3.41% of its residents having received at least one dose of the vaccine. Just below 7% of Baltimore City’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, fifth lowest among the state’s jurisdictions. However, the city ranks seventh among Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions with 2.07% of its population fully vaccinated.

More than three-fifths of Marylanders who are fully vaccinated are white, while Black residents, who represent about 31% of the state’s population, account for about 15% of those who have received two doses. For doses where the race of the recipient was known, about one in eight have been administered to Black residents.

Nearly a third of residents confirmed to have the virus among those whose race is known are Black, according to state data, with that race representing almost 35% of the fatalities. The state does not have race data available for 50 of its deaths and about one in seven of its cases.

The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that return positive results, was 5.89% Thursday, down from 5.96% Wednesday. A month ago, the state’s reported positivity rate was 9.47%, the metric’s highest point since exceeding 10% in early June.

There are 1,426 patients in Maryland hospitals due to COVID-19 Thursday, 59 fewer than Wednesday. Of those, 340 were in intensive care, down 21 from Wednesday.

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