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Maryland’s coronavirus testing positivity rate is above 5% for the first time since Feb. 10

For the first time since Feb. 10, the seven-day average coronavirus testing positivity rate in Maryland is above 5% — widely considered a key bench mark.

The World Health Organization, for instance, has recommended that localities remain below 5% positivity for two weeks before governments consider reopening.

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Maryland has lifted capacity restrictions on a number of indoor venues, including bars and restaurants, although some jurisdictions have maintained them. And Tuesday, the state opened vaccine eligibility to more than 1 million more people.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

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Cases

After six straight days of reporting more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, Maryland health officials reported 903 Tuesday.

Still, the 14-day average of daily cases is around 1,000, compared to less than 800 earlier this month.

The state’s numbers are still well below the COVID-19 peak from mid-January, when officials were reporting close to 3,000 cases a day.

In sum, Maryland has reported 409,978 cases of the coronavirus over the past year.

Deaths

Tuesday, officials reported that 13 more people have died from the coronavirus in Maryland.

More than 8,000 Marylanders have died from the virus, according to state data.

Hospitalizations

For the second straight day, more than 1,000 Marylanders are receiving care for COVID-19 in state hospitals.

Officials said 10 fewer people are in state hospitals with the disease since yesterday’s data.

Testing positivity

Tuesday, the positivity rate came in at 5.24%, up from 4.99% Monday.

State health officials reported conducting 11,905 coronavirus tests, the smallest daily number since March 1.

Vaccinations

Tuesday, Maryland officials reported administering 55,044 new doses of the coronavirus vaccines — 27,750 first shots of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, 26,178 second shots and 1,116 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In total, 938,802 Marylanders are fully vaccinated — 15.5% of the state population.

Vaccinations by age

So far, 71.1% of Marylanders over 65 have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Older people are among the most vulnerable to severe impacts of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, 36.7% of Marylanders between ages 50 and 64 have received at least one dose, as have 23.98% of those 18 through 49-years-old.

Vaccinations by race

Where race data has been reported, 65.3% of the shots have gone to white people, who make up 58.5% of the state population. Meanwhile, 21.8% of the doses have gone to Black Marylanders, who represent 31% of the state population.

Latino and Hispanic Marylanders, too, have been vaccinated at a slower rate than white residents. Latinos represent 11% of the state population, but where race data was reported, they’ve received 3.5% of the vaccinations.

Vaccinations by county

Still, the lowest percentage of the population has been vaccinated in Prince George’s County, a large, majority-Black jurisdiction; 9.5% were fully inoculated as of Tuesday. That’s compared to 16.4% in neighboring Montgomery County, which is similar in population size but majority-white.

The second lowest percentage is in Charles County, a smaller majority-Black jurisdiction in Southern Maryland, where 10.8% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Several smaller counties have fully vaccinated more than 20% of their populations, including Kent, Talbot and Worcester counties. Howard County, which is significantly larger, isn’t far behind, with 19.4% fully vaccinated.

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