Maryland health officials reported 2,414 new coronavirus cases Sunday, and 25 more deaths caused by the virus.
The new data brings Maryland to 326,445 cases and 6,394 deaths during the pandemic. On Saturday, the state reported the second death of a child under 10-years-old resulting from the virus.
Sunday’s new caseload is the lowest daily total reported since Jan. 5, when 1,956 cases were tallied. Still it comes amid a troubling wave of new cases and hospitalizations. Record numbers of new cases and hospitalizations in Maryland were reported in December and January.
Some 1,823 were reported hospitalized Sunday, down slightly from a peak of 1,952 last Tuesday. Of those, 408 were receiving treatment in intensive care units, four fewer than Saturday.
The state also recently updated hospitalization data from last week, lowering totals after “data reconciliation,” said Charlie Gischlar, a Maryland Department of Health spokesman.
The number of hospitalizations reported Jan. 10 decreased by 55 people as a result of this change, from 1,950 to 1,895. The number of hospitalizations reported Jan. 11 decreased by 17 people, from 1,957 to 1,940.
The totals for Jan. 10 and 11 both set records at the time, and even with the changes, both figures still would have.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s seven-day average testing positivity rate as of Sunday was 8.12%, down slightly from 8.13% Saturday. About 46,000 coronavirus tests were reportedly administered in Maryland, down a bit from totals over 50,000 tests the past few days.
Between Saturday and Sunday, the Eastern Shore’s Kent County reported the highest percentage increase in new coronavirus cases. The county’s cumulative caseload increased 2%. The next highest percentage increases were in Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, also on the Shore.
At the pandemic’s opening, the most cases per capita were reported in some of the state’s most populous regions, including Baltimore and the counties bordering the District of Columbia. But during this second wave more rural parts of the state have been harder hit.
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First, it was the Western panhandle. In early December, the case rate in Allegany County soared close to 200 cases per 100,000 residents, higher than any jurisdiction in the state has recorded to date. Since then, the rate in Allegany has plummeted. As of Sunday, it was lower than any other jurisdiction for the first time in months.
But now, some rates in parts of the Eastern Shore have started to climb. Dorchester County had the highest case rate as of Sunday, with 95.75 cases per 100,000 residents.
The state also reported administering 7,120 new doses of the coronavirus vaccines on Sunday. That’s significantly lower than the vaccination total reported Saturday: 21,400 — a record high for the state.
So far, 223,740 Marylanders have received at least one dose of the vaccine — about 3.7% of the state population.
The highest percentage of the population — 4.76% — has been vaccinated in Southern Maryland, which includes Calvert and St. Mary’s counties. Meanwhile, the lowest percentage of the population has been vaccinated in what the state calls the “National Capital Region,” which includes two of the state’s most populous jurisdictions — Prince George’s and Montgomery counties — plus Charles and Frederick counties. That region has 2.36% of its population vaccinated.
The other regions in the state — the Baltimore Metropolitan area, the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland — have all vaccinated at least 4% of their populations.
The state is currently aiming to vaccinate health care workers, first responders and patients and staff in nursing homes, which have been ravaged by the virus in Maryland and across the nation. On Monday, the state will officially open up vaccinations for people 75 and older, teachers, school staff, child care providers, assisted living residents and others living in congregate living facilities and high-risk inmates and detainees.