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Maryland narrowly avoids first 1,000 COVID-case day of March, drops beneath 200 virus patients in ICU

After enduring a three-month stretch in which it reported at least 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus each day from early November to early February, Maryland hasn’t crossed that threshold in nearly a month, but the state has gotten close repeatedly over the past week.

For the fifth time in the past eight days, Maryland confirmed more than 900 new infections of COVID-19, with Friday’s 990 marking the highest single-day tally in that time.

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Here are where the case count and Maryland’s other virus-related measures stand as of Friday morning.

Cases

With the 990 new cases reported Friday morning, Maryland’s total count of confirmed infections is 391,480. The state last reported 1,000 or more cases Feb. 19, the only day in which it has surpassed that mark since Valentine’s Day.

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Deaths

The state reported 16 more Marylanders have died of the coronavirus or its effects. In all, 7,848 residents with confirmed infections of COVID-19 have died.

Thursday will mark the anniversary of Maryland’s first two virus-related deaths.

Hospitalizations

There are 765 patients in Maryland’s hospitals facing the effects of COVID-19, 23 fewer than Thursday. With 195 of those cases requiring intensive care, the state is reporting fewer than 200 for the first time since Nov. 11.

“Fewer Marylanders are being hospitalized, and more and more people are getting vaccinated, as we work together each day to bring this pandemic to an end,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “We will keep following the science and taking a cautious and vigilant approach as we continue on the road to health and economic recovery.”

Vaccinations

Another 31,000 Marylanders received their first, and in some cases only, dose of coronavirus vaccine Thursday, meaning about 19.3% of the state’s 6 million-plus residents are at least partially vaccinated. About 10.9% are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or both of the Pfizer or Moderna shots needed for best protection.

The state has administered 1.78 million doses in all.

Vaccines by age: Maryland reports it has vaccinated 56.1% of its 65-and-older population, an age group that is fully eligible to be vaccinated in the state and consider particularly susceptible to the virus’ effects. As of Thursday afternoon, the national average is 58.4%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccines by race and ethnicity: Maryland continues to narrow the discrepancy in doses provided to white residents (59% of the state’s overall population) compared to Black residents (31%), a ratio now at 3.6 to 1 after spending several months exceeding 4 to 1. Latino residents, 11% of the population, have received about 4.2% of doses, a figure that hasn’t markedly changed in recent weeks.

Vaccines by county: Even with Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine now in use, seven Maryland jurisdictions have yet to vaccinate at least a 10th of their populations: Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Prince George’s, Cecil, Somerset and Charles. The first four of that group rank among the state’s most populated jurisdictions.

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, rose slightly to 3.61% Friday from 3.58% Thursday.

Maryland’s positivity rate has climbed, though marginally, for eight straight days. Still, the figure remains more than a full percentage point below where it was a month ago and significantly under what it was at this point in January.

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