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After Hogan’s COVID update, several key virus measures continue to decline

A day after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced the state would ease coronavirus restrictions further and set a vaccination benchmark for lifting the indoor mask mandate, several of the state’s key COVID-19 indicators continued to decline, according to state health department data.

Here’s a look at where the state’s pandemic measures stood Thursday:

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Cases

The Maryland Department of Health reported 474 new coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 454,745, according to health department data.

Deaths

Seventeen more people reportedly died from COVID-19, meaning the disease has claimed 8,704 lives in Maryland since health officials began to track its effects in March 2020.

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Hospitalizations

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Maryland continued trending down, like it has since April 29, according to the health department.

About 730 still remained in hospitals statewide Thursday, down 40 from the day before. Of those patients, 223 required intensive care.

Testing positivity

Maryland’s average testing positivity rate was 2.66%, down from 2.74% the day before and the lowest it’s been since Sept. 28, health department data shows.

The rate, which measures the average number of tests returned positive over the last week, has declined for 10 straight days and is less than half of its spring peak of 5.9% on April 3.

With 28,760 nasal swab tests returned Wednesday, Maryland eclipsed 10 million coronavirus tests completed statewide throughout the pandemic.

Vaccinations

The state reported 45,148 new vaccinations Thursday, with 10,746 people having received a first dose of the two-injection Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and 33,049 completing their two-dose regimens. Meanwhile, health department data shows another 1,353 of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine were administered.

About 65.4% of Marylanders 18 or older have received at least one vaccine dose, still about 4.4 percentage points shy of Hogan’s benchmark for rescinding the state’s indoor mask mandate.

Almost 5.4 million vaccine doses have been administered statewide, while Maryland reported an average of 49,835 vaccinations over the last week.

Federal entities have administered 186,895 vaccine doses in the state, according to the health department.

Vaccines by age:

Almost 41% of 16- and 17-year-olds in Maryland have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the only inoculation approved for people under 18. After that vaccine was authorized for children as young as 12, the state began administering doses to that age group Thursday.

Meanwhile, nearly 82.8% of Marylanders 65 and older, almost 69% of residents between the ages of 50 and 64 and 52.5% of those 18 to 49 years old have received at least one vaccine dose, health department data shows.

Vaccines by race:

About 2.6 times more white people in Maryland have been fully vaccinated than Black people, down from about 2.8 times a month ago, according to health department data. About 58.5% of the state’s roughly 6 million residents are white, while about 31% are Black.

When it comes to first doses alone, white people received about 2.4 times more than Black people, the data shows.

Approximately 6.4% of the people who’ve been fully vaccinated in Maryland and whose ethnicity was recorded identified as Latino, up from 5.8% about a week ago, the data shows. Latino people make up for about 11% of state residents.

About 7.8% of the first doses in Maryland whose recipients ethnicity was accounted for went to Latino people.

Vaccines by county:

More than 47% of the residents in Talbot and Howard counties, which have populations of about 37,000 and 326,000, have been fully vaccinated, according to the health department. They are the only localities in the state where more than 45% of the population has been completely immunized.

Bringing up the rear in vaccination percentages is Somerset County, the southernmost locality on the Eastern Shore. Almost 24.6% have been fully vaccinated, while about 30.7% of the population has received a first dose.

Cecil County has seen about 27.3% of it’s 103,000 people fully vaccinated, the second smallest share in the state.

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