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Maryland once again reports record-low COVID-19 positivity rate despite low Memorial Day testing

When it comes to coronavirus data, the first day of June in Maryland looks markedly different from the first day of May.

The state recorded 939 new COVID-19 cases May 1, but Tuesday, just 101 new cases were confirmed, continuing a steep decline that correlates with the state’s vaccination push.

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Monday, Maryland became the nation’s 12th state to have vaccinated 70% or more of its adult population with at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Cases

The tally of 101 new cases Tuesday is the lowest daily total since March 25, 2020, when 76 new cases were recorded in the early days of the outbreak in Maryland.

Overall, 459,995 Marylanders have tested positive for the virus.

Deaths

Two more people died from the virus in Maryland, bringing the state’s total of COVID-19 fatalities to 9,404.

Hospitalizations

The number of people hospitalized as a result of the virus increased by three Tuesday to 336.

But overall, the number of coronavirus patients in Maryland hospitals has declined to its lowest level since early October.

Positivity rate

Over the past two weeks, the state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate for COVID-19 has continually set record lows.

It did so again Tuesday, declining to 1.42% from 1.49% the day before. For most of the pandemic, the record was 2.51%, set in late September, before an influx of new cases during the late fall and winter.

The day after Memorial Day, the state reported 7,304 newly administered coronavirus tests, the lowest daily total since May 25, 2020. But back then, the seven-day average positivity rate was 12.5%.

The fact that the state’s positivity rate has remained low despite low testing volumes indicates the state still is conducting sufficient testing to find negatives.

Vaccinations

So far, 57.3% of Maryland’s total population and 70% of its adult population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Meanwhile, 48.2% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

Health officials reported 9,413 newly administered shots Tuesday, the lowest tally in months.

That includes 4,208 new first doses of the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna regimens, 4,613 second shots and 592 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Vaccinations by age

As of Tuesday, more than 84% of Marylanders 65 and older have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. This group was prioritized for vaccine distribution, alongside health care and other front-line workers, because older people tend to suffer more serious consequences from the illness.

Meanwhile, 72.9% of residents 50- to 64-years-old, 58.1% of 18- to 49-years-olds and 37.6% of those 12- to 17-years-old have received at least one dose, according to the state dashboard.

Vaccinations by race

White Marylanders are still somewhat overrepresented in Maryland’s vaccination tally, having received 59% of shots. According to U.S. Census data, white people make up 58.5% of Maryland’s population. Members of other races, however, are underrepresented.

Black Marylanders have received 24.5% of the shots with accompanying race data (a total that doesn’t include doses given out at federal facilities in the state). But they make up 31.3% of the state population, according to the Census. Comparatively, Asian Marylanders, who make up 6.7% of the state population, received 8% of shots, and people marked “Other Race” received 7.4% of shots. The U.S. Census marks 2.9% of Maryland’s population as “Two or More Races.”

Vaccinations by county

Howard and Montgomery counties have surged above the Eastern Shore’s Talbot County, which long led the vaccination totals. Howard, Montgomery and Talbot are the only counties so far to vaccinate more than half their respective populations.

Howard and Montgomery, have fully vaccinated 56.4% and 53% of their populations, respectively. They are the state’s wealthiest two counties when it comes to personal income, according to the Maryland State Archives. By comparison, Somerset County, the state’s poorest by the same metric, has vaccinated the smallest proportion of its residents, who are 41.5% Black, according to the census. About 30.4% of Somerset residents are fully vaccinated.

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