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Maryland COVID hospitalizations drop as 2.5 million now fully vaccinated

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Maryland dropped again, as the state eclipsed 2.5 million people fully vaccinated, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

Here’s where the state’s other COVID-19 measures stood Friday:

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Cases

With 512 new infections, Maryland has eclipsed 455,000 coronavirus cases throughout the pandemic.

Deaths

Twelve more Marylanders reportedly died from COVID-19. The illness has caused 8,716 deaths since health officials began to track its effects in March 2020.

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Hospitalizations

Some 680 people remained hospitalized with the coronavirus Friday, 50 fewer than the day before. Of those patients, 191 required intensive care.

Over the last three days, COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped by 119 patients, data shows.

The number of people requiring hospital care for the disease has declined every day save three since April 20.

The number of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is less than half what it was this time last year, around the peak of the pandemic’s first wave, the data shows.

Testing positivity

Maryland’s average testing positivity rate was 2.6% Thursday, down from 2.66% Wednesday, according to the health department. That’s less than half what it was a month ago and almost four times lower than this time last year.

The percentage, which measures the average share of coronavirus tests returned positive over the last seven days, has dropped for 11 consecutive days.

Some 35,030 tests were returned in the last 24 hours, meaning more than 10 million tests have been completed statewide throughout the pandemic, health department data shows.

Vaccinations

The state said 2.5 million people in Maryland have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, either by completing a two-dose course of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines or receiving the Johnson & Johnson single-shot immunization. More than 5.4 million vaccine doses have been administered statewide since Dec. 14.

About 65.6% of Maryland’s adult population had received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine as of late Thursday night, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

As of Thursday night, Maryland ranked 12th out of 50 states and Washington, D.C., in terms of the percentage of its adult population with at least one dose, according to CDC data.

Health officials reported 53,463 more vaccinations Friday, including 2,014 of J&J’s vaccine and 18,653 first doses and 32,796 second doses of the two-shot vaccines.

Maryland has reported an average of 50,471 immunizations daily over the last week.

Vaccines by age:

Almost 53% of Marylanders 18 to 49 years old, about 69% of residents between the ages of 50 and 64 and 82.9% of those 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose.

The first Maryland children aged 12 to 15 got vaccinated Thursday, following the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for that age group. That vaccine is the only coronavirus immunization approved for children under 18.

Since those 16 and 17 already were eligible, about 15% of Marylanders 12 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Vaccines by race:

About 58% of the roughly 5.1 million vaccine doses administered in Maryland where the recipients race was known went to white people, while about 23.2% went to Black people, according to health department data.

Those demographics account for 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Almost 7% of all vaccines where the recipients ethnicity was recorded went to Latino people, who make up about 11% of Maryland residents, the data shows.

Vaccines by county:

The southernmost locality on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Somerset County continues to lag behind all other jurisdictions in the state in the percentage of its people vaccinated.

Approximately 31% of Somerset’s 26,000 residents have gotten a first dose, while almost 26% have been fully vaccinated. The county is majority white, but with a population that’s 41.5% black, it’s more diverse than every other Eastern Shore county.

Talbot and Worcester counties, also on the Eastern Shore, have seen among the highest proportions of their residents vaccinated in the state. About 47.6% of Talbot’s roughly 37,000 people have been fully vaccinated, while 48.9% have gotten a first dose. In Worcester, population 52,000, about 43.5% of people have been fully vaccinated, while 47.6% have gotten their preliminary immunization. Both are about 83% white.

In the Baltimore metropolitan area, Howard County now paces the state in the percent of its population fully vaccinated at 48.2% and the share which has received a first dose at 56.8%. With about 326,000 people, Howard is about 56.% white, 20% Black and 19% Asian.

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