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Maryland reports 603 coronavirus cases, 10 deaths on first day of March

It’s March again.

Nearly a year after confirming its first cases of the coronavirus, Maryland is still reporting hundreds of new cases and more new deaths every day. But as the state’s caseload and death toll continue to climb, thousands of residents are getting vaccinated to protect them from serious infections.

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Here’s where Maryland’s virus-related metrics stand as of Monday morning.

Cases

Maryland reported 603 new infections Monday morning, bringing the total count of confirmed infections in the state to 382,702. Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of Maryland’s first confirmed cases.

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After reporting more than 75,000 cases in both December and January, the state reported about 27,000 infections from Feb. 1 to Monday. However, February was the first month since October that the state reported fewer than 1 million test results. Testing was down 32% from January, according to state data, a steep drop that a Maryland Department of Health representative said was because of severe storms and Presidents Day.

”As we continue to analyze testing data, we have determined that there is no sustained downward trend in COVID-19 testing at this time in Maryland,” Charles Gischlar said in an email.

Deaths

Another 10 Marylanders died because of the coronavirus or its effects, the state reported. In all, 7,697 residents with confirmed COVID-19 infections have died.

The state reported more than 700 deaths in February, almost 500 fewer than January.

Hospitalizations

There were 904 patients in Maryland’s hospitals facing the effects of COVID-19 Monday, 35 more than Sunday. Of those, 235 cases require intensive care, five fewer than Sunday.

The increase in hospitalizations ends a six-day streak of declines. More than 35,000 Marylanders have been hospitalized because of the virus at some point over the past year.

Vaccinations

Another 15,781 Marylanders received their first doses of coronavirus vaccine Sunday, meaning 14.2% of the state’s 6 million-plus residents are at least partially vaccinated. About 7.8% are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received both of the shots of the two available vaccines needed for best protection.

The state has administered more than 1.3 million doses in all and is averaging over 35,000 doses per day over the past week, the highest that metric has been.

Vaccines by age: Of those who have received at least one dose of vaccine, about 52% have been at least 60 years old, an age range considered especially susceptible to the virus’ effects.

Vaccines by race and ethnicity: Nearly two-thirds of the doses Maryland has administered have gone to the state’s white residents, who represent about 59% of the overall state population. Black residents, who represent 31% of Maryland’s population, have received about a fourth as many doses as the state’s white residents. Hispanic and Latino residents have received about 4.1% of the administered doses but account for 11% of Maryland’s population.

Vaccines by county: At 7.95%, Prince George’s County is the only one of the state’s 24 jurisdictions to have begun the vaccination process for less than 10% of its population, despite being home to Maryland’s largest mass vaccination site at Six Flags America. Prince George’s County, Charles County and Baltimore City are the bottom three in both partial vaccinations and full vaccinations per capita; all three jurisdictions are majority minority.

Positivity rate

The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate, which effectively measures the percentage of tests that return positive results in a weeklong span, stood at 3.52% Monday, up slightly from 3.46% Sunday.

It was the second day in a row the seven-day average positivity increased, the first time that has happened since early February. The figure then, however, was about 2.5 percentage points higher than it is now.

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