Maryland adds 1,500 COVID cases while positivity ticks up, hospitalizations decline

Maryland health officials reported 1,500 new coronavirus cases Saturday, marking five days in a row in which the state has recorded at least 1,000 new infections.

Here’s how some of the key measures looked:



With the daily tally of infections reported Saturday, Maryland has now recorded 434,859 COVID-19 cases since health officials began to track the disease in March 2020, according to state data.

The state has reported more than 1,500 cases on three of the last four days and has averaged 1,371 infections daily over the last two weeks. That’s nearly double the lowest 14-day average of cases reported daily, 765, recorded after the winter surge of the virus, but still less than half of the highest average, 2,949, during the peak of the winter surge in January.


Baltimore COVID hotspot

Health officials are concerned about Baltimore emerging as a coronavirus hotspot, a development they’ve hypothesized is due to the prevalence of highly contagious virus variants and less cautious behavior from people.

The state averaged 22.91 cases a day per 100,000 people over the week ending Friday, a steep increase compared to early March. Baltimore, Maryland’s most densely populated jurisdiction, averaged 43.66 cases per capita over the same time. The city’s rate has increased nearly four-fold since early March; the state’s approximately doubled over that time.


Seventeen more people were reported dead, bringing the state’s pandemic fatality count to 8,359.


Some 1,210 people remained hospitalized battling the coronavirus, 22 fewer patients than the day before but the 20th day in a row that at least 1,000 people were hospitalized.

Of those hospitalized, 288 required intensive care. That’s eight fewer than Friday.

Testing positivity

Maryland’s average testing positivity was 5.72% Friday, up 0.05 percentage points compared to a day earlier, according to health department data.

The measure, an average of the coronavirus tests returned positive over the last week, has remained above 5%, the World Health Organization’s benchmark for reopening, since March 29.

About 40,821 nasal swabs were tested over the past 24 hours, less than the day before. More than 9.3 million tests have been completed throughout the pandemic, according to the state.


The state reported 77,025 more vaccinations Saturday — 34,573 first doses and 42,050 second doses, health department data shows.

About 1.58 million people have been fully vaccinated either by completing a two-dose schedule of immunizations made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna or by receiving Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine.

The use of the Johnson & Johnson product has been suspended in Maryland and many other states while federal health authorities investigate the emergence of six cases of rare blood clots among the roughly 7 million recipients of that vaccine nationwide. Still, Maryland health data continues to reflect Johnson & Johnson doses being administered this week, with 402 new vaccinations reported Saturday.

Statewide, about 2.26 million have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the health department. The state averaged 66,296 immunizations daily over the last week.

Vaccines by age:

Health department data shows 78% of Marylanders 65 and older, 56% of residents between 50 and 64 years old have and 38.65% of people 18-49 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine. About 15.5% of 16- and 17-year-olds have received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the only product okayed for use in people younger than 18.

Vaccines by race:

About 2.9 times more white people have been fully vaccinated in Maryland as Black people. One month ago, 3.8 times as many white people, who make up 58.5% of the state’s population, had been fully vaccinated as Black people, who represent about 31% of Marylanders.

Meanwhile, Latino residents account for about 11% of the state’s population yet have received about 5.6% of all vaccines administered where the recipients’ ethnicity was known, according to health department data.

Vaccines by county:

There are four counties in Maryland where at least 30% of the population has been fully vaccinated. The group includes Kent County (30.37%), the state’s smallest jurisdiction with 19,000 residents, and Howard County (31.62%), the sixth-most-populous with 326,000 people. Worcester County, population 52,000, has seen about 33.7% of its residents complete their vaccinations.

Another Eastern Shore jurisdiction, Talbot County (36.96%), which has about 37,000 people, is the only locality in the state where more than 35% of the population has been completely inoculated.

The counties of Prince George’s (18.41%) and Somerset (18.85%) are the only jurisdictions in the state where less than 19% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Prince George’s, located in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, has 909,000 people. Somerset, the southernmost county on the Eastern Shore, has about 26,000 residents.

Only one other jurisdiction, Charles County, has seen less than 20% of its people complete their vaccine schedules. About 19.4% of Charles’ 163,000 people have been fully vaccinated.

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