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Maryland reports over 1,000 COVID cases; hospitalizations, testing positivity inch up

For the third day in a row, Maryland health officials reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, while more than 1,200 people remained in hospitals across the state fighting the disease.

Here’s where the state stood with COVID-19 Thursday:

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Cases

The state added 1,444 coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 431,795, according to health department data.

Over the last two weeks, Maryland has averaged 1,348 new infections daily. While that’s close to double what the rate was in early March, it’s less than half what the average was in January, when infections were skyrocketing as part of a post-holidays surge of the virus.

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Deaths

The state reported 19 more people died because of COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 8,326 Marylanders since officials began to track the pandemic in March 2020.

Hospitalizations

About 1,244 people remained hospitalized with the coronavirus, eight more than Wednesday. Of those hospitalized, 290 patients required intensive care, seven more than the day before.The last time fewer than 1,000 people were hospitalized with the disease was March 28.

Testing positivity

Meanwhile, the state’s testing positivity rate, which measures the average number of tests returned positive over the last week, rose .09 percentage points to 5.78% Wednesday.

It has remained above 5% since March 29.

About 33,064 tests were returned over the last 24 hours, with more than 9.2 million nasal swabs conducted in Maryland throughout the pandemic.

Vaccines

The state reported Thursday that 70,217 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Maryland. Of those, 37,628 received their first of the two-dose immunizations made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, while 30,258 completed their regimens.

Two days after federal officials suspended distribution of the Johnson & Johnson singe-shot vaccines, following the discovery of six cases of rare blood clots out of nearly 7 million vaccines administered, Maryland reported 2,331 doses of the immunization administered.

Health department spokesman Charles Gischlar said no state-run mass vaccination site has administered a dose of that vaccine since the CDC-directed pause. He attributed the doses to a a lag or error in vaccination data reporting to the state’s Immunet vaccince system.

“Of the 4,969 J&J doses reported on 4/13 and 4/14, 4,545 were J&J administered before April 13, when we paused its administration; 424 were reported to Immunet as being J&J vaccine administered on 4/13 and 4/14, but we believe all of those are likely related to the sources recording the incorrect vaccine manufacturer,” Gischlar said in an email.

Almost 1.5 million people have been fully vaccinated in Maryland, with nearly 2.2 million having received at least one dose.

An average of 68,948 vaccines have been administered daily over the last seven days, according to health department data.

Vaccines by age:

About 77% of Marylanders 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose. Meanwhile, about 54% of people in the state between 50 and 64 years old have gotten at least one immunization.

Vaccines by race:

Despite a sizeable gap remaining, the disparity among racial lines in Maryland’s vaccination effort is improving.

About 2.97 times as many white people, who make up 58.5% of the Maryland’s population, have been fully vaccinated as Black people, who account for 31% of residents. A week ago, 3.2 times as many white people had been fully vaccinated as Black people.

Despite about 11% of Marylanders being Hispanic or Latino, Latino people have received about 5.5% of all vaccines administered where the recipients ethnicity was known.

Vaccines by county:

Talbot, Worcester and Howard counties are the only jurisdictions where more than 30% of the populations have been fully vaccinated. In Talbot almost 35% have its approximately 37,000 people finished their vaccines, 31.5% in Worcester, which has about 52,000 people, and 30.5% in Howard, where about 326,000 people live.

Prince George’s County, now home to two mass vaccination sites, lag behind the rest of the state, though not by much. Exactly 17% of Prince George’s 909,000 people have been fully immunized.

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