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Maryland reports 786 new virus cases, 14 deaths as Hogan announces plans to honor victims

Two days before the state will recognize the one-year anniversary of its first coronavirus infections, more than 900,000 Marylanders have received at least one dose of vaccine. Here’s where Maryland’s stands with the virus as of Wednesday morning.

Cases

Maryland reported 786 new infections Wednesday morning, bringing the total count of confirmed infections in the state to 383,956. Of those, 100 have been the various COVID-19 variants that have emerged in recent months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Maryland’s first confirmed cases. Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he will declare Friday a day of remembrance for the thousands of Marylanders the virus and its effects have killed. In recognition, buildings across the state will be lit amber, and a twilight ceremony will be held Friday evening at the State House.

“One year ago at this time, we could not have fathomed the toll that the pandemic would take on each and every one of us,” Hogan, a Republican, said in a statement. “On Friday, we will pause as a state to remember all those we have lost, and express our gratitude to the health care heroes and front line workers whose many sacrifices have saved lives and kept us safe.”

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Deaths

The state reported 14 more Marylanders have died of the coronavirus or its effects. In all, 7,737 residents with confirmed COVID-19 infections have died.

Wednesday’s additions mean the state has reported more than 2,000 virus-related deaths in the first two-plus months of 2021.

Hospitalizations

There are 863 patients in Maryland’s hospitals facing the effects of COVID-19, 33 fewer than Tuesday. Of those, 228 cases require intensive care, down four from the day before.

The 863 hospitalizations are the state’s fewest since Nov. 12. The next day, the figure rose above 900 and didn’t fall back beneath that bench mark until last week.

Vaccinations

Another almost 22,000 Marylanders received their first doses of coronavirus vaccine Tuesday, meaning more than 900,000 residents — 14.9% of the state’s 6 million-plus — are at least partially vaccinated. About 8.2% are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received both of the shots needed for best protection.

The state has administered almost 1.4 million doses in all.

Vaccines by age: All Maryland residents 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated based on the state’s plan and have been for more than a month. According to state data, 42.4% of Maryland’s 65-and-older residents have received at least the first dose of vaccine.

Vaccines by race and ethnicity: About 65% of Maryland’s doses have gone in the arms of white residents, who represent 59% of the state’s overall population. Comparatively, Black Marylanders (31% of the population) and Latino residents (11% of the population) have gotten 16.6% and 4.1% of doses, respectively.

Vaccines by county: Prince George’s County, the state’s second-most populated jurisdiction, remains the only one in the state that hasn’t yet partly vaccinated at least 10% of its population and fully vaccinated at least 5% of its population. Baltimore City ranks third worst among jurisdictions in both metrics.

Nursing homes

Maryland provides updates on the virus’ impact on nursing home residents and staff every Wednesday. Fewer than 13,000 cases have been at facilities that are considered “active” — meaning those that have had a new case or pending test in the past two weeks — whereas that number exceeded 15,000 in last week’s update.

Over the past week, there were 24 new virus-related deaths among staff and residents of nursing homes and similar long-term care facilities. Those groups account for 44.6% of all the virus’ victims in Maryland, yet 8.3% of the infections.

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, declined to 3.28% Tuesday, down from 3.35% Monday.

For the second straight day, all 24 of the state’s jurisdictions reported positivity rates beneath 5%. They previously hadn’t done so since mid-October.

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