Maryland reported 1,203 new COVID-19 cases and 20 more deaths linked to the virus Thursday as hospitalizations dropped for the second straight day.
The state, which this week surpassed 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines administered, reported another 75,000 doses Thursday.
Maryland has reported more than 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases for two consecutive days, following a two days of fewer than 1,000 daily cases.
Here are the latest numbers from the Maryland Department of Health:
Adding Thursday’s confirmed cases, the state’s total tally has reached 439,992 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020.
While Thursday’s cases are two fewer than Wednesday, they came as the state reported 36,411 more completed tests, a day-to-day increase of more than 9,000.
Baltimore City continues to have the state’s highest infection rate, with a seven-day average of 35.05 cases for every 100,000 people, but the rate has been decreasing since last Friday.
The state reported 20 more people died from the coronavirus, bringing the state tally up to 8,439 deaths since March 2020. The daily increase in deaths was the most reported in 12 days.
There were 1,235 people hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Thursday, 44 fewer than the day before.
Maryland hospitals have reported at least 1,000 active patients daily since March 29.
The statewide seven-day average positivity rate dropped for a second-straight day, down to 5.15%.
The state’s average positivity rate has been at 5% or above since March 28. The World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions get under a 5% average positivity rate for at least two weeks before relaxing social distancing and business capacity restrictions.
Dorchester County has the highest seven-day average positivity rate in the state at 8.97%, as of Thursday, according to state health officials.
Vaccine clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers reported administering 75,037 doses of the various coronavirus vaccines, after the state surpassed the 4 million mark on Wednesday.
Of those, 36,043 were the first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, which require a two-dose regimen, and 38,755 were second doses of the two vaccines.
The state reported an additional 239 administered doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, likely to be doses reported late to state health officials after federal officials paused its administration last week as they investigate rare blood clotting found in six people who received that vaccine.
About 1.73 million people, or nearly 29% of Maryland’s population, has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Thursday. In addition, nearly 2.6 million people, or about 43% of the state’s population, has received at least their first dose of vaccine.
Vaccines by Age
As of Tuesday, nearly 79% of Marylanders 65 or older have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, according to the state.
Additionally, 59.4% of state residents 50 to 64 have gotten at least their first shot as well as 42.3% of people 18 to 49 and 22.3% of 16- and 17-year-olds.
Vaccines by Race
About 1.06 million white Marylanders have been fully vaccinated compared with about 371,249 Black residents, according to state data. About 64% of those fully vaccinated for whom the state has available racial data were white, compared to about 23% who were Black.
Breaking News Alerts
White people make up about 58.5% of Maryland’s population, compared with Black people, who represent about 31% of Marylanders.
Also, Hispanic or Latino residents represented just over 5% of those fully vaccinated whose ethnicity was known. They represent about 11% of Maryland’s population.
Vaccines by County
Howard, Kent, Talbot and Worcester counties remain the only counties in the state where more than 30% of their populations have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to state health department data.
Talbot County, an Eastern Shore jurisdiction of roughly 37,000 people where 29.7% of the population is 65 or older, leads the state with nearly 38.6% of residents having been fully inoculated.
Meanwhile, counties with substantial Black populations in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore continue to lag behind the rest of the state.
Somerset County, a rural Eastern Shore county of about 26,000 people where about 41.5% of the population is Black, has the state’s lowest rate of fully vaccination at about 19.3% of residents.
Prince George’s County — a majority-Black county and Maryland’s second-largest jurisdiction with about 909,000 residents — has the second-lowest rate, with health officials reporting Tuesday that 20.1% of the county’s population has been fully inoculated.
AN earlier version of this story incorrectly stated how many days the state's testing positivity rate has declined. It is two. The Sun regrets the error.