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Maryland officials report 1,840 new COVID cases, the most since January, as hospitalizations tick up

While Maryland health officials reported a new vaccination milestone with more than 80,000 immunizations, the state also added 1,840 coronavirus cases Friday, the most since late January.

Here’s a look at the state’s latest coronavirus numbers from the Maryland Department of Health:

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Cases

The new daily tally brings the state’s pandemic case count to 423,663. Friday was the third consecutive day and eighth in the last 10 days with more than 1,000 cases.

Maryland has not recorded more infections in a day since Jan. 30, when health officials reported 2,097 cases. At that time, the state was fighting off a winter surge of the disease.

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Over the last two weeks, Maryland has averaged 1,309 new infections daily, the highest 14-day average since Feb. 12.

Deaths

The state’s death toll increased to 8,238, with 14 more coronavirus fatalities reported.

Hospitalizations

Friday marked the 12th straight day with more than 1,000 people hospitalized in Maryland facing the coronavirus’ effects.

The 1,249 people in state hospitals Friday represented 33 more than a day before. About 286 of those patients required intensive care, five more than Thursday.

Testing positivity

After two days of decline, Maryland’s coronavirus testing positivity rate increased to 5.59% Thursday, up 0.03 percentage points compared to the day before.

The increase comes as the state’s testing volume increased again after low numbers Sunday and Monday. Some 44,452 tests were returned Thursday, almost 10,000 more than the day before.

In all, more than 9 million tests have been completed.

The average testing positivity rate was about 0.6 percentage points higher among younger than 35 yeas old compared to those over 35.

Harford County continued to have the state’s highest testing positivity rate at 9.08% — the only jurisdiction above 8%. Anne Arundel County was not far behind with a rate of 7.47%.

Between Harford and Anne Arundel’s rates were those in Washington and Wicomico counites, which are located on opposite ends of the state and had rates of 7.94% and 7.82% testing positivity, respectively.

Vaccines

The state reported delivering a record 82,068 new daily vaccinations, with 39,766 people receiving their initial immunization and 31,305 their second of the two-dose regimens made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. About 10,997 of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines made their way into arms in Maryland.

An average of 62,587 vaccines have been administered daily over the last seven days — another a new milestone, according to health department data.

Some 3,274,873 million doses of the vaccines have been administered in Maryland, with about 1.27 million people, or about 21% of the state’s 6 million residents, fully vaccinated, the data shows.

Vaccines by age:

More than three quarters of Marylanders 65 and older have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to health department data.

Vaccines by race:

About 2.7 times more white people have received a first vaccine dose than Black people, while about 3.1 times as many white residents have been fully vaccinated as Black residents, health department data shows. The disparity between the two races has shrunk in recent weeks.

Latino people have received roughly 5.6% of the first doses administered in the state for which the recipient’s ethnicity was recorded. Making up about 11% of the state’s population, Latino people account for 4.2% of the people who’ve been fully vaccinated and whose ethnicity was known.

Vaccines by county:

On the Eastern Shore, about 30.5% of Talbot County’s roughly 37,000 residents have been fully vaccinated. Health department data shows it’s the only state jurisdiction where more than 30% of the locality’s population has been completely immunized.

Only three other counties have seen more than a quarter of their populations complete their vaccines: Worcester (27.7%), Howard (26%) and Kent (25.8%).

Meanwhile, in Prince George’s County, about 13.9% of the Washington suburb’s 909,000 people has been fully vaccinated — the smallest proportion in the state, according to health department data. Not far ahead is its neighbor, Charles County, where about 14.8% of the 163,000 residents have been completely immunized.

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