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Maryland reports lowest daily COVID case count since early March; positivity rate, active hospitalizations in decline

Maryland on Monday reported the fewest number of new, daily coronavirus cases since March 2 as hospitalizations and the statewide positivity rate continued to decline.

Here’s a breakdown of Monday’s numbers:

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Cases

The Maryland Department of Health reported 557 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases reported throughout the pandemic to 443,814.

It was the second day in a row Maryland reported fewer than 1,000 new cases. The 906 new cases reported Sunday broke a four-day streak during which Maryland reported more than 1,000 new cases per day.

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On average, the state has reported 1,150 new daily infections over the last 14 days. March 26 was the last time the state’s 14-day average of new cases was below 1,000.

Deaths

State health officials reported that eight more people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died, bringing the state’s fatality total to 8,483.

While the death toll has fallen since its December and January peaks, Maryland has reported an average of 14 deaths each day over the past two weeks.

Hospitalizations

Maryland hospitals were treating 1,115 people due to complications from COVID-19, 30 fewer than the day before, according to state health officials. The number of current coronavirus patients has declined for six consecutive days.

At least 1,000 people with COVID-19 have been hospitalized due to the disease since March 29.

Testing Positivity

The statewide seven-day average testing positivity rate was 4.51%, down from 4.76% Sunday and the third day in a row that health officials reported a rate below 5%. The positivity rate, which averages the share of positive test results collected over a week, has declined for six straight days.

The World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions report a positivity rate below 5% for two weeks before easing coronavirus restrictions.

More than 17,000 tests were reported completed in the past 24 hours, with 4.04% coming back positive for COVID-19, according to the state. Before Monday, the state wen four days with a daily positivity rate below 4%.

Vaccinations

With nearly 32,000 first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines reported administered, state officials said more than 2.5 million Marylanders have received at least their first dose of a vaccine, or about 41.5% of the state’s population. The two vaccines require a two-dose regimen for people to reach maximum immunization.

In addition, more than 1.8 million Marylanders have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Sunday, or about 30.4% of the state’s population.

In total, the state reported 27,455 new vaccinations Monday. Of those, 16,460 were first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and another 10,962 were second doses.

The state reported 33 newly administered doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. Maryland health officials announced over the weekend that vaccinators could continue to administer the vaccine after federal health officials lifted an 11-day pause while they investigated an unusual blood clot that occurred in about 15 people who’d received it.

Vaccines by age

State health officials reported that 79.7% of Marylanders 65 or older have received at least their first dose of a vaccine as of Sunday.

In addition, 61.8% of people 50 to 64 have received their first dose as well as 44.9% of people 18 to 49 and 27.11% of 16- and 17-year-olds, according to the state health department.

Vaccines by race

About 64% of those fully vaccinated whose race was known as of Monday — 1.12 million people — were white, compared to about 23% — 398,656 people — of those who were Black.

A disparity in vaccinations has decreased gradually over the past month. White residents represent about 58.5% of the state’s population and Black residents represent about 31%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state says it lacks racial data for 85,690 fully vaccinated people.

Just over 94,000 of the state’s Hispanic or Latino residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or roughly 5.34% of state residents who have been fully inoculated where ethnic data was recorded by state officials.

Maryland’s Hispanic population represents about 10.6% of the state’s overall population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Vaccines by County

Somerset County on the Eastern Shore, whose 26,000 residents are about 41.5% Black, has the lowest vaccination rate in the state, with just over 20.4% of residents fully vaccinated. Nearby Talbot County, where nearly one-third of the 37,000 residents are 65 or older, is the only jurisdiction in the state where more than 40% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Prince George’s County, a D.C. suburb of about 909,000 residents, reported that 22.073% of residents have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, the second-lowest rate in the state. Maryland’s second-most populated jurisdiction has been a focal point for health officials as the majority-Black county had spent much of the state’s vaccination campaign ranked last in vaccination rate before recently eclipsing Somerset.

Baltimore City, which had lagged behind much of the state during the early stages of the state’s vaccination campaign, has fully vaccinated more than one-quarter of its population, according to health officials. The state reported that about 25.27% of the city’s roughly 593,000 residents has been fully vaccinated.

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