Maryland reported 835 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday — the most since June 5 — and 11 new deaths resulting from the virus.
The state’s caseload has increased over the past few days, while other key metrics, such as deaths, hospitalizations and the rate of people testing positive have remained relatively low.
For example, the state has reported fewer than 20 coronavirus deaths for 23 straight days.
But the number of cases is trending up, as in four of the last five days Maryland has reported at least 700 new cases, after a period where case numbers lingered around 300 and 400. At its peak, the state reported more than 1,000 cases each day.
Young people continue to drive the caseload upward. People in their 20s represented about a quarter of Saturday’s new cases, and people younger than 40 accounted for about 58% of new cases.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and other state officials have expressed concerns about these metrics, and worry that young people congregating in bars and restaurants are contracting the virus and spreading it to more vulnerable populations. But officials haven’t moved to shut down indoor dining areas. Hogan issued guidance to local authorities last week, urging them to crack down on bars and restaurants flouting state rules.
In total, the state has reported 77,206 cases and 3,238 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
As of Saturday, 448 people are hospitalized in Maryland, 14 more than on Friday. About 31% of those hospitalized are in intensive care units.
Maryland reported that 18,053 new coronavirus tests were administered, compared to yesterday’s record high of 24,171. The state figures released Saturday say the positivity rate remained below 5% for the 24th consecutive day, at 4.43%.This benchmark is notable, since the World Health Organization recommends that governments remain below it for two weeks before reopening.
But Johns Hopkins University, which calculates the rate differently, placed Maryland slightly above 5% as of early Saturday morning, at 5.27%. Maryland is among 33 states with a positivity rate above 5, according to Hopkins’ data.
State officials calculate the positivity rate by dividing the number of positive tests by the total testing volume over a seven-day period. Instead, Hopkins uses the number of people tested, the combination of new cases and the number of people who tested negative.
Baltimore City reported the highest number of new cases Saturday, with 143, followed closely by Baltimore County with 141. Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, the two most populous in the state, had the third and fourth highest number of new cases, respectively.