Maryland reported another record-breaking day of coronavirus-related hospitalizations Monday as well as 2,314 new confirmed cases and 24 deaths tied to COVID-19.
The state reported 1,742 people hospitalized with virus-related complications Monday, 63 more than Sunday, the fourth time in the past week the state has set a new pandemic high for hospitalizations. Maryland hospitals still have open beds but fear a potential rise in hospitalizations.
Maryland has reported 2,000 or more cases for 17 of past 20 days after never doing so before mid-November. The state has now also reported 1,000 or more confirmed virus cases for 41 consecutive days after reaching that mark only four times between early June and this stretch.
Maryland’s testing volume reported Monday was 40,010, well below a pandemic high of more than 65,000 reported Saturday.
After reporting fewer than 200 deaths in October, Maryland has seen nearly 1,000 deaths in November and about half of December. The state’s 14-day average of new deaths reported dailu was 35 Monday.
There are more than 1,200 more people hospitalized with virus complications now than there were at the beginning of November, when 523 people were hospitalized.
Among those hospitalized, 404 required intensive care, 20 fewer than Sunday. ICU hospitalizations have nearly doubled since a month ago, when they were at 218.
The new data bring the state to a total of 236,961 confirmed virus cases and 4,978 deaths since March. Maryland is seeing its first coronavirus vaccine doses distributed this week.
Virus hotspots Allegany and Garrett counties won’t get vaccines in the first round, but have seen case rates drop in recent days. Outside of Somerset County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Western Maryland has the state’s three highest case rates, according to data compiled by the state.
Allegany County is seeing its surge relent a bit, with its seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people diving from 198.41 as of Dec. 6 to 109.76 Sunday, but still more than double the statewide average of 46.4. The county reported 17 new virus cases Monday and no new deaths.
“We’re absolutely struggling right now,” said Jacob C. “Jake” Shade, the Republican president of the Allegany Board of County Commissioners. “It’s troubling we’re not the No. 1 priority for the state of Maryland.”
Neighboring Garrett County, which also has been ravaged by the virus, has seen its seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people drop as well, going from 122.11 Dec. 6 to 87.15 Sunday. The county reported eight new cases and one death Monday. Its positivity rate was 15.74% Sunday, down from 19.33% Tuesday.
But Allegany’s neighbor to the east, Washington County, has seen its numbers take a turn for the worse. The county reported 170 new cases Monday, nearly 3% of its pandemic case total in a single day. Washington County’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people has climbed from 55.61 less than two weeks ago to 76.89 as of Sunday.
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Somerset County has seen its seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people drop from 181.25 as of Dec. 2, but it still had the state’s highest rate at 142.21 Sunday. The county has been the site of a significant increase in cases at the Eastern Correctional Institution, Maryland’s largest prison, in recent weeks.
Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City combined for about 65% of new cases Monday.
Among the 24 people reported Monday to have died, all but one was in their 60s or older, with the lone exception a person in their 30s. To date, 56 people in their 30s have died statewide due to the coronavirus.
People in their 60s or older have accounted for more than 87% of deaths statewide, but younger people have been more likely to test positive for the virus.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate for people below the age of 35 was 8.15% as of Sunday, more than a percentage point higher than the rate for those 35 or older, 7.07%.
The state’s reported seven-day positivity rate was 7.46%, up slightly from 7.41% Sunday. The state reported a daily positivity rate of 7.28% Monday.
Baltimore Sun reporters Jean Marbella and Jeff Barker contributed to this article. This story will be updated.