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Maryland reports third straight day of 1,000-plus COVID cases, hospitalizations down again

Maryland reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the third straight day Friday — and on all but five days so far in April.

The state added 1,163 new cases and eight more deaths linked to the coronavirus to its count as hospitalizations dropped for the third day in a row.

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The state, which earlier this week surpassed 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines administered, reported another 76,500 doses Friday.

Here are the latest numbers from the Maryland Department of Health:

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Cases

Friday’s 1,163 cases bring the state’s total to 441,155 confirmed cases since March 2020.

While elevated compared to late February, early March, the daily case count remains significantly lower than the December and January peaks.

Baltimore City continues to have the state’s highest infection rate, with a seven-day average of 33 cases for every 100,000 people, but the rate has dropped from 43.66 per 100,000 people a week ago.

Deaths

The state reported eight more people died from the coronavirus, bringing the state tally up to 8,447 deaths since March 2020.

Friday was just the third day this month that Maryland has reported a single-digit death toll. While the death rate is down from January, the daily increase in deaths reported Thursday was the highest in 12 days.

Hospitalizations

There were 1,188 people hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Thursday, 47 fewer than the day before. Of those, 289 were in intensive care.

Maryland hospitals have reported at least 1,000 active patients daily since March 29.

Positivity Rate

The statewide seven-day average positivity rate dropped to 5.1%, the third-straight day of declines.

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.

Vaccinations

Vaccine clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers reported administering 76,541 doses of the various coronavirus vaccines.

Of those, 35,388 were the first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, which require a two-dose regimen, and 40,921 were second doses of the two vaccines.

The state reported an additional 232 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 1.77 million people, or more than 29% of Maryland’s population, has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Friday. In addition, more than 2.6 million people, or almost 44% of the state’s population, has received at least their first dose of vaccine.

Vaccines by Age

As of Friday, more than 79% of Marylanders 65 or older have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, according to the state.

Additionally, 60.2% of state residents 50 to 64 have gotten at least their first shot as well as 43.2% of people 18 to 49 and 23.6% of 16- and 17-year-olds.

Vaccines by Race

About 1.08 million white Marylanders have been fully vaccinated compared with about 381,620 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.

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 40.2% of residents fully inoculated. But Howard County residents have received the most shots per capita: nearly half of all residents have gotten at least one.

Meanwhile, some counties with large Black populations 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, became the last to surpass 20% of residents vaccinated Friday. Fewer than a quarter of all Somerset residents had received at least one shot.

Prince George’s County — a majority-Black county and Maryland’s second-largest jurisdiction with about 909,000 residents — has the second-lowest vaccination rate, with health officials reporting Friday that 21.2% of the county’s population has been fully inoculated.

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