Nearly three weeks since the new coronavirus claimed its first victim in Maryland, the state announced it has surpassed 100 deaths caused by COVID-19.
Tuesday’s announcement of 12 additional deaths brought the state’s coronavirus-related death toll to 103, an increase of about 54% in the past two days. Gov. Larry Hogan announced Maryland’s first death caused by the virus March 18.
The state announced an additional 326 confirmed cases of the virus overall, bringing Maryland to at least 4,371 cases statewide. The state has issued 27,256 negative tests for COVID-19, while 288 people who tested positive have since been released from isolation.
With the state entering triple digits in deaths, Mike Ricci, Hogan’s spokesman, confirmed state officials are seeking to lease an ice rink to use as a makeshift morgue. No lease is finalized, said Ricci, who cited a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention checklist that suggests finding locations that can serve to expand morgue capacity.
“This is a precautionary measure as part of our planning process, and it is consistent with CDC guidance for preparedness,” Ricci said in a statement.
Hogan, at a news conference in Baltimore Monday afternoon, said the ice rinks are only a possibility — one that he hopes to avoid by slowing the spread of the virus.
“It’s just something that is being considered,” Hogan, a Republican, told reporters.
Prince George’s County became the state’s first jurisdiction with at least 1,000 confirmed cases at 1,020, with Montgomery County’s 871, Baltimore County’s 652 and Baltimore City’s 459 following. More than 10% of the confirmed 159 cases in Carroll County, where there was an outbreak at Pleasant View Nursing Home, have resulted in death.
About 70% of Maryland’s confirmed cases are in people under the age of 60, and those under 30 make up nearly one in seven cases. Women represent 53.3% of the confirmed cases. Maryland does not yet announce its coronavirus case and death counts by race.
Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.