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Maryland has averaged nearly 1,000 new COVID cases a day over the past two weeks

Maryland recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row and seventh time in the last eight days Friday, as COVID-19-related hospitalizations continued to increase.

Here’s how the state’s COVID-19 indicators stacked up:

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Cases

Maryland health officials reported 1,361 new coronavirus cases Friday, 20 fewer than the day before.

While newly reported cases remain far lower than their peak in January, the state’s two-week average has reached 990 new infections per day — a rate that has been steadily climbing this month.

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Maryland’s total pandemic case count has now reached to 405,343.

Deaths

Fifteen more Marylanders were reported dead from COVID-19 Friday, bringing the number of fatalities to 8,047 since health officials began to track the disease in March 2020.

Hospitalizations

Fourteen more people were hospitalized with the coronavirus compared to the previous day. Of the 933 patients battling the virus in hospitals across the state, 232 required intensive care.

The number of hospitalizations has climbed for more than a week.

Testing positivity

The state’s testing positivity rate rose slightly to 4.64% on Friday. The rate, which measures the percentage of cases that come back positive over the past week, had leveled out Thursday after about two weeks of gradual increases.

The positivity rate has trended upward since hitting a trough in early March. It’s still less than half the 9.47% peak recorded Jan. 3 during a winter surge of the virus.

The counties of Anne Arundel (6.46%), Baltimore (5.04%), Calvert (5.16%), Carroll (6%), Cecil (6.14%), Charles (6.63%), Dorchester (5.7%), Frederick (5.21%), Garrett (5.45%), Harford (6.83%), Prince George’s (5.21%), St. Mary’s (4.67%), Washington (6.55%) and Wicomico (5.63%) are all above the state average. The World Health Organization recommends places achieve a positivity rate below 5% before relaxing coronavirus restrictions.

Baltimore City’s rate was 4.53%, just below the state average.

More than 42,300 tests were completed across the state during the prior 24 hours.

Vaccinations

Providers in Maryland administered 64,286 doses of COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday, bringing the average number of immunizations dished out daily in the state to 46,817 over the last week, health department data shows.

The majority of the vaccines shot into arms over the past 24 hours — 42,340 — were the first of two-dose immunization regimens made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. About 19,378 got their final immunization, while 2,568 received Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine.

More than a quarter of Maryland’s 6 million residents have received at least one vaccine dose; 854,497 have been fully vaccinated, just over 14% of the state’s population.

Vaccines by age

More than 69% of Maryland residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to health department data. The state began offering immunizations to anyone who is at least 60 years old Tuesday.

Meanwhile, about, 32.5% of people aged 50 to 64, 22% of those 18 to 49, and under 3% of 16- and 17-year-olds have received at least one dose, state data shows.

Vaccines by race

About 3.5 times as many white people as Black people have been fully vaccinated in Maryland, a persistent racial gap that is slowly closing, health department data shows. The demographic groups make up 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively.

Meanwhile, only 3.8% of the people who’ve been fully vaccinated and whose ethnicity was known identified as Latino. About 11% of Maryland’s population is Latino, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Vaccines by county

Prince George’s and Charles counties, both majority Black, continue to trail the rest of the state’s jurisdictions in terms of the percentage of their populations that have been fully vaccinated.

Just 8.3% of Prince George’s roughly 909,000 people have finished their immunization regimens, while 9.26% of Charles’ approximately 163,000 have completed theirs. They are the only two jurisdictions where less than 10% of their populations are fully vaccinated. Combined, the two counties account for about 18% of Maryland residents.

Cecil County, which is almost 90% white, is not far ahead. Only about 10.86% of its approximately 103,000 people have completed their immunizations. Less populous, but more diverse, Somerset County has seen about 11.5% of its 25,000 people fully vaccinated.

About 12.2% of Baltimore City’s 593,000 residents have been fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the rural Eastern Shore counties of Kent and Talbot are the only jurisdictions whose populations are more than 20% fully vaccinated. About 21.6% of Kent’s 19,000 people and 21.1% of Talbot’s 37,000 residents have completed their immunizations. Worcester County is nearing the 20% mark, with 19.95% of its approximately 52,000 residents fully vaccinated, according to state data.

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