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Maryland reports 970 new infections, 33 new deaths from coronavirus

A week before the one-year anniversary of Maryland confirming its first cases of the coronavirus, the state reported 970 new infections and 33 new deaths associated with COVID-19.

On March 5, 2020, Maryland confirmed its first three cases of the virus, a count that with Friday’s additions has grown to 380,436. Of those confirmed cases, 7,656 — about one in 50 — have resulted in death. Although deaths are not necessarily reported on the date they occur, Friday’s 33 are the state’s most in two weeks.

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Maryland has confirmed fewer than 1,000 new cases in all but one of the past 13 days. The state has reported fewer than 1,200 new cases every day since Feb. 7.

Nearly a year since the worldwide pandemic reached Maryland, the state has administered about 30,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine a day over the past week, with Thursday’s 38,640 doses marking the state’s second most since the process began in December.

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Another 15,198 Marylanders received their first vaccination Thursday, the state said, and more than 1.2 million doses have been administered overall, according to state data. Nearly 800,000 Marylanders, or about 13.2% of the state’s population, are at least partially vaccinated, while 7.1% of residents have received both of the doses the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require to offer best protection from serious infection.

With Maryland’s current vaccination phases targeting older residents — as well as those of certain occupations and health statuses — Marylanders at least 60 years old account for a third of those who have received at least one shot. Those older residents account for nearly nine in 10 of those who have died from virus-related causes in the state.

The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate, which approximates the percentage of tests that return positive results in a weeklong span, was at 3.66% Friday, the 16th time in 17 days it has declined and the fifth straight day it has been under 4%. The figure was also beneath that mark from early August until early November before a spike in many of the state’s virus-related metrics.

Maryland is nearing the end of February with its seven-day positivity rate less than half of what it was at the end of December, and about 2 percentage points lower than what it was at the end of January.

There are 943 patients in Maryland hospitals facing the virus’ effects, the fewest since mid-November, with 245 in intensive care. The day prior, the state reported those figures as 952 hospitalized with 243 in ICUs.

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