Maryland’s seven-day COVID positivity rate falls below 1% for the first time

For the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, Maryland’s seven-day average testing positivity rate fell below 1%, state officials announced Wednesday.

It comes a day after the state reached a vaccination milestone — half of Marylanders have been fully inoculated against the virus.


Here’s how the Maryland Department of Health’s coronavirus indicators stood Wednesday:


There were 126 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday, bringing the state’s cumulative caseload to 460,863,


Three days out of the past week, the state has reported fewer than 100 new cases.

For much of the pandemic, this was unheard of. As recently as April, the state was reporting 1,000 or more new cases daily.


Four more people were reported dead Wednesday as a result of COVID-19. In total, 9,442 Marylanders have died from the virus.

The state hasn’t reported more than 10 new coronavirus deaths in a day since May 28.


The number of people hospitalized in Maryland with coronavirus fell by 32 to 243 Wednesday. Of those, 66 required intensive care, nine fewer than Tuesday.

Hospitalizations have fallen off dramatically since late April, and are at their lowest level since late March 2020, just after the pandemic began.

Positivity rate

Before last month, the record low positivity rate was around 2.5%, but recently, it has sunk far lower, falling to 0.95%.

It’s likely an indication that, even with half the state fully vaccinated, enough surveillance testing is still occurring. If the state were only testing sick Marylanders, or the infection rate was greater, the positivity rate would be considerably higher.

At one point in January the positivity rate, which measures the share of coronavirus tests returned positive in the past week, climbed near 9.5%.


Another 30,638 new doses of the vaccines were administered. That includes 9,030 first doses of the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna regimes, 20,699 second doses and 909 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Vaccinations have dropped off since a mid-April peak, and the state is making plans to shutter its mass vaccination sites in favor of smaller venues and clinics aimed at reaching the vulnerable or the undecided.

Vaccinations by age

So far, 85.5% of the eldest Marylanders (65 and over) have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

In addition, 74% of those 50- to 64-years-old have gotten at least their first shot and 59.6% of those between 18 and 49.

Among 12- to 17-year-olds, the youngest group eligible for only the Pfizer vaccine, 41.2% have been at least partially vaccinated.

Vaccination by race

Throughout the state’s vaccination effort, Black and Hispanic Marylanders have been underrepresented, while white Marylanders were either overrepresented or proportionally represented in the state’s tally.

Out of the more than 5.7 million shots with race data attached (a total that excludes doses given out at federal entities in Maryland), 24.7% have gone to Black people, who make up about 31.1% of the state population, according to U.S. Census data.

Meanwhile, 58.5% of these shots have gone to white people, who make up the same percentage of Maryland’s population.

There was, however a significant chunk of people who marked themselves “Other Race” — 7.6% — whereas in the census only 2.9% of people marked themselves “Two or more races.”

Of the shots accompanied by ethnicity data, 8.33% have gone to Hispanic Marylanders, who make up 10.6% of the state population, according to the Census.

Vaccination by county

At the county level, the division between the most vaccinated and the least is stark.

In Howard County, one of the state’s richest, 59.6% of people are completely vaccinated. In the Eastern Shore’s Somerset County, one of the state’s poorest, 31.7% of people are.

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