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Maryland reports record 3,792 new coronavirus cases, shattering previous daily high

Maryland hit a new grim mark Friday, reporting a record 3,792 new coronavirus cases — shattering the previous daily record of 2,910 set Nov. 19.

The state also set a new record for daily testing volume, with 55,912 tests reported Friday.

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Maryland has now reported 1,000 or more COVID-19 cases for 31 straight days, after previously seeing new cases at that level just a few times since the beginning of June. The state has reported 2,000 or more cases for seven of the past 10 days after never doing so before mid-November.

Maryland’s reported seven-day average testing positivity rate was 8%, the highest since early June and up from 7.68% Thursday. The daily positivity rate reported Friday was 8.27%.

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Maryland reported 24 deaths tied to COVID-19. After tallying 195 deaths in the month of October, the state has added 630 deaths since Nov. 1.

The state’s 14-day average of new daily deaths has soared in recent weeks, going from eight as of Nov. 8 to 28 as of Friday.

“The promise of a vaccine has given us a light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have dark days ahead,” Gov. Larry Hogan wrote in a tweet Friday morning. “We continue to urge Marylanders to take the necessary steps to keep people out of the hospital and save lives: avoid gatherings, wear a mask, get tested, & wash your hands.”

Models from the University of Washington project that the state could see nearly 10,800 deaths by April 1, more than double the current death toll. With “universal masking,” that projection falls to just above 9,300 deaths, still more than double the current death toll.

The state reported 1,594 people hospitalized with virus-related complications Friday, 21 more than Thursday and more than 2½ times what they were a month ago. Hospitalizations are getting closer to a late-April peak of just over 1,700.

Among those hospitalized, 367 required intensive care, three more than Thursday. ICU hospitalizations have more than doubled since they were at 154 as of a month ago.

Deaths and hospitalizations can lag behind a surge in cases, as it can take weeks for some patients’ symptoms to worsen and for some to die.

Among people reported to have died Friday, all were in their 60s or older, including 15 who were 80 or older. Marylanders in their 60s or older account for more than 87% of deaths statewide despite making up fewer than 20% of new cases.

Younger Marylanders continue to drive the state’s surge in cases, with residents in their 20s and 30s representing more than a third of new cases reported Friday, accounting for 1,273 cases. The positivity rate among those below the age of 35 was 8.55% as of Thursday’s data, while the rate for those older than 35 was 7.69%.

Rural Allegany County, with a population of about 70,000 residents, added 303 new cases — almost 8% of its pandemic total in one day — along with three deaths.

Allegany has now seen about one case for every 18 residents. The county’s positivity rate was 17.9% Thursday and its seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people was 155.61 Thursday, more than quadruple the statewide average of 35.25.

Somerset County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore had the highest seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people in the state Thursday at 171.21, nearly five times the statewide average. That figure has spiked in recent weeks from 25.65 as of Nov. 16.

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Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci wrote in a tweet Tuesday that most of the current cases in the county come from the Eastern Correctional Institute in Westover.

Baltimore City added nine deaths and 416 cases Friday, while Baltimore County added seven deaths and 484 cases. Montgomery County added 631 cases and five deaths, while Prince George’s County added 542 cases and six deaths.

Those four counties combined for about 55% of new cases reported Friday.

The new batch of data brings the state to a total of 209,191 confirmed virus cases and 4,630 deaths since March.

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