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Maryland reports fewest new COVID cases since last summer; positivity rate, hospitalizations down

Maryland reported the fewest newly confirmed coronavirus cases since last summer on Monday, the second straight day the state’s daily case count has been below 500.

With nearly four in 10 Marylanders fully vaccinated, the state’s positivity rate is the lowest it has been since the fall, and the number of hospitalizations in the state continue to drop, the state health department reported.

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Here’s a breakdown of the Maryland Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 indicators:

Cases

The state added 276 new cases — the lowest daily total since July 6 — one day after health officials reported the fewest number of new, confirmed infections since October.

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Sunday’s 434 newly confirmed cases was the first time fewer than 500 had been reported since March 2. The total number of cases throughout the pandemic reached 453,401.

The state has averaged roughly 685 new infections daily over the past two weeks, down from a mid-April peak of 1,371. The 14-day average of new cases is the lowest it has been since Oct. 29.

Deaths

Ten more Marylanders died due to complications from COVID-19, bringing the number of fatalities up to 8,670 people since the state began tracking the disease in March 2020.

The state has reported an average of 13 COVID-related deaths each day over the past two weeks.

Hospitalizations

There were 798 people hospitalized Monday in Maryland due to complications from COVID-19, two dozen fewer than Sunday. Of those patients, 213 required intensive care.

The number of active hospitalizations has dropped on all but two days since officials reported 1,282 patients in treatment on April 20.

Testing positivity

The statewide seven-day average testing positivity rate dropped to 3.06%, the state’s lowest since Oct. 23, from 3.31% Sunday. Positivity measures the share of positive COVID-19 tests.

A total of 12,544 tests were completed in the prior 24 hours — fewer than half as many as the day before.

Vaccinations

Vaccinators administered 46,513 doses of the three available coronavirus vaccines — the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech and Modern vaccines as well as the single dose Johnson & Johnson — in the past 24 hours.

Of those, 31,401 were either the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or the single J&J dose.

Nearly 2.34 million Marylanders have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, or about 39% of the state’s population, as of Monday.

Additionally, roughly 3.09 million state residents have received at least their first dose of a vaccine — more than 51% of Maryland’s total population.

Vaccines by age:

The state reported that nearly 82.4% of residents 65 or older have received at least their first dose of a vaccine as of Monday. In addition, 67.9% of residents 50 to 64, 51.6% of those 18 to 49 and 39.3% of 16- and 17-year-olds have gotten at least their first doses, according to the health department.

Vaccines by race:

About 2.66 times more white people have been fully vaccinated compared with Black residents, according to state health department data. There are about 1.88 times as many white residents in Maryland compared with Black residents, as the demographics represent about 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state does not have racial data available for the recipients of 295,304 administered doses, not counting doses administered by federal entities.

In addition, about 6% of residents who have been fully vaccinated identify as Hispanic or Latino, according to available data on ethnicity from the state health department. About 10.6% of Marylanders are Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state does not have ethnicity data — Hispanic versus non-Hispanic — for the recipients of 307,617 administered vaccine doses, not counting those given by federal entities.

Vaccines by county:

Talbot County, an Eastern Shore jurisdiction of about 37,000 people where 29.7% of its residents are 65 or older, still leads the state in fully vaccinated residents. As of Monday, 46.5% of the county’s population has been vaccinated fully, according to state health officials.

Howard County, trailing just behind Talbot, has surpassed Montgomery as the most-vaccinated of the state’s five most populated jurisdictions, which also include Baltimore City, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties. About 45.2% of Howard residents are fully vaccinated, compared with the 42.6% fully inoculated in Montgomery.

Prince George’s County has the lowest rate of fully vaccinated residents among those jurisdictions, with 29.7% of its roughly 909,000 residents fully inoculated as of Monday. About 31% of Baltimore City residents have been fully vaccinated as of Monday, as well as roughly 38.4% of Baltimore County residents, according to the state.

Somerset County, an Eastern Shore jurisdiction of about 26,000 people where about 41.5% of residents are Black, remains last in the state in the vaccination rate. The only county with fewer than a quarter of its population fully inoculated, Somerset’s vaccination rate is 23.6%.

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