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Maryland reports new COVID vaccine record, as state adds over 1,000 COVID infections; testing positivity rate continues climb

Maryland reported the highest number of new vaccinations Wednesday, along with more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections as the state’s testing positivity rate continued to climb.

Here’s where the rest of daily pandemic indicators stood:

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Cases

There were 1,366 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, the Maryland Department of Health reported, a day after the number of daily cases dipped below 1,000 for the first time in six days.

The state has recorded 411,344 coronavirus cases throughout the pandemic.

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Deaths

Thirteen more Marylanders were reported dead from COVID-19, brining the disease’s death toll to 8,101 in the state, according to the health department.

Hospitalizations

About 1,030 people remained in Maryland hospitals fighting the coronavirus’ effects Wednesday, one more hospitalization than Tuesday, health department data shows. Of those hospitalized, 244 patients required intensive care.

Since March 2020, 37,733 have been hospitalized in the state.

Testing positivity

After jumping Tuesday above the World Health Organization’s 5% testing positivity bench mark for government’s lifting coronavirus restrictions, Maryland’s rate rose to 5.3%, 0.06 percentage points higher than the day before.

Citing concerning trends for various coronavirus indicators, public health officials have urged the public to stay vigilant about the dangers of the virus by wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and hand washing.

Vaccines

Providers across Maryland administered 70,373 coronavirus vaccines Tuesday, a new immunization reporting record in the state, according to health department metrics.

Over the last 24 hours, 39,724 people received their first of the two-dose vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, with 29,026 completing their regimens. About 1,623 of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccines made their way into the arms of people in Maryland.

Almost 2.7 million COVID-19 immunizations have been administered in the state since Dec. 14, with 969,451 people fully vaccinated either by completing a two-dose schedule or receiving the single shot.

The state has seen an average of 55,074 vaccinations daily over the last week, a new high mark.

Vaccines by age:

About 28% of Marylanders 65 and older have yet to receive at least one vaccine dose, meaning the state’s vaccine rollout has reached almost 72% of one of the populations it first prioritized.

Meanwhile, about 38.16% of those between the ages of 50 and 64 have gotten at least one dose.

Vaccines by race:

Roughly 3.4 times as many white people have been full vaccinated as Black people in Maryland, health department data shows. Those demographics account for approximately 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively.

Meanwhile, just 4% of the people in the state who’ve been fully vaccinated and whose race was known identify as Latino. About 11% of Maryland’s population is Latino.

Vaccines by county:

Talbot County has seen the largest proportion of its people completely vaccinated, surpassing Kent County, which had topped the state for much of the vaccination campaign. About 23.5% of Talbot’s roughly 37,000 residents have finished their vaccinations, while approximately 22.3% of Kent’s population of 19,000 have been fully immunized.

Also on the Eastern Shore, Worcester County, population 52,000, has seen about 21.7% of its people finish their vaccinations. The much more populous Howard County, with about 326,000 residents, is the only other jurisdiction in Maryland in which more than 20% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Prince George’s County, the state’s second most populous jurisdiction, continues to lag behind the rest of the state. Just 10% of Prince George’s roughly 909,000 people, the majority of whom are Black, have been completely immunized. Its neighbor, Charles County, which is also majority Black, hasn’t fared much better: About 11.1% of its 163,000 residents have finished their vaccines.

Variants

More contagious coronavirus mutations continue to spread in Maryland, with the number of COVID-19 infections caused by virus variants first discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa increasing, federal government data shows.

As of Tuesday, there were a total of 509 COVID-19 cases caused by virus variants, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those infections, 471 were caused by the virus strain initially identified in the U.K. and 37 caused by the mutation first detected in South Africa.

Laboratory genomic sequencing in Maryland has confirmed just one case of the virus variant which was originally traced to Brazil.

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