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Maryland’s COVID-19 hospitalizations decrease, while cases and positivity rate tick up Thursday

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Maryland decreased for a second straight day Thursday, while the number of new cases and the COVID-19 testing positivity rate ticked upward.

Here’s where the state’s pandemic-tracking statistics stood Thursday.

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Cases

Maryland reported 1,113 new coronavirus cases Thursday, increasing the state’s total case count to 396,746 since health officials began monitoring the disease last March.

Deaths

Fourteen more Marylanders were reported dead from COVID-19 Thursday, pushing the disease’s death toll in the state to 7,929 people.

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Hospitalizations

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dipped to 798 from 805 the day before. Four fewer patients required intensive care.

The two-day drop in hospitalizations followed four straight days of slight daily upticks before Wednesday. Hospitalizations are down by more than half since the pandemic peak Jan. 13 of 1,952.

Vaccines

Maryland administered 45,159 vaccines across the state Wednesday, 1,578 fewer than the day before. Of those, 29,482 people received a first shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, and 15,457 received their second dose.

Only 220 people received one of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose immunizations. One of them was Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, who received his shot Wednesday from city Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa after announcing that he will further loosen coronavirus restrictions in the city.

More than 2 million Marylanders have received at least one shot. Approximately 740,887 people have been fully vaccinated, more than 12% of the state’s population. Nearly 1.3 million people have received their preliminary immunization, or more than 21% of the state’s 6 million residents.

An average of 43,034 vaccine doses a day have been administered in Maryland over the last week.

Vaccines by age:

About 62.8% of Maryland residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the state health department. The state’s elderly are among those who have been prioritized for vaccinations, along with health care workers, educators and others.

Vaccines by race:

Racial disparities in who has received the vaccines continue.

White people have gotten about 67% of the vaccine doses administered in the state for which the recipients’ race was known. They account for about 58.5% of the state’s population, 40% of the coronavirus cases and 51.7% of the deaths. About 31% of Maryland residents are Black, though Black people have received almost 21% of the vaccines, while accounting for 33.5% of COVID-19 infections and 34.5% of fatalities.

Latino people make up about 11% of the population and accounted for 18% of cases and 9% of deaths for which the person’s ethnicity was known. They have received just over 4% of the vaccines for which the recipients’ ethnicity was recorded.

Vaccines by county:

Kent, Worcester and Talbot counties, all on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, continue to outpace the state in the percentage of their populations that have been fully vaccinated. The proportion was 19.8% in Kent, 18.8% in Worcester and 19% in Talbot.

In the Washington suburbs, Prince George’s and Charles counties, both of which are predominantly Black, have fully vaccinated the smallest shares of their populations. They are the only two counties where fewer than 10% of their residents have been fully vaccinated. About 6.93% of Prince George’s residents have been fully vaccinated, compared to 8.5% of in Charles. Baltimore City and Somerset County are third-lowest in the state, at roughly 10.3% each.

Testing positivity

Maryland’s average testing positivity rate rose again over the past 24 hours to 4.07%. The indicator, which measures the number of COVID-19 tests returned positive over the last week, had increased for six days in a row before leveling on Wednesday.

The state reported 32,867 tests for the disease were completed over the last 24 hours, and approximately 8.4 million swabs conducted since testing began last year.

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