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As Maryland COVID testing positivity sets new low, state reports more than 50,000 daily vaccinations

Maryland has notched five days in a row with a coronavirus testing positivity rate below 2%, marks not recorded at any point during the public health crisis, as the state reported the most daily vaccinations in more than a week, according to the state health department.

Here’s a look at where other key coronavirus indicators stood Saturday.

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Cases

Maryland added 185 new coronavirus infections, according to health department data. The state’s pandemic case count stands at 459,528.

The state has reported an average of 278 cases daily over the past two weeks, a rate nearly four times lower than the same date last month.

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Deaths

Seven more people were reported dead from COVID-19 in Maryland, meaning the disease has claimed 9,387 casualties since health officials began to track its effects in March 2020, the data shows.

Hospitalizations

About 375 people remained hospitalized with the coronavirus in Maryland, 22 fewer than the day before, according to the health department. Of those patients, 94 required intensive care.

On April 29, there were more than 1,000 people hospitalized.

Testing positivity

Maryland’s average testing positivity rate was 1.61%, down 0.12 percentage points from a day earlier and a new low mark, the data shows.

Measuring the average share of coronavirus tests returned positive over the last seven days, the rate has remained below 2% since it dropped below that threshold for the first time Monday.

The state reported 21,196 tests Saturday. In sum, 10.37 million nasal swabs from Maryland have been tested for COVID-19.

Vaccinations

Health officials in Maryland reported 51,458 new coronavirus vaccinations, the first time since May 20 the state has eclipsed 50,000 immunizations in a day.

About 19,533 people got their first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s two-dose vaccines and 29,962 more completed the course. The state said 1,963 single-shot vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson were administered.

Almost 57% of the state’s population — and 69.6% of the state’s adult population — have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the health department. Meanwhile, about 48% of Maryland’s 6 million residents have been fully vaccinated, either by finishing a two-dose regimen or getting the single-shot inoculation.

Approximately 6.1 million vaccine doses have gone into arms in Maryland since Dec. 4, while the state reported an average of 33,837 new immunizations daily over the past week, the data shows. Federal entities in the state have administered 201,443 vaccine doses.

Vaccines by age:

More than 36% of Marylanders 12 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the only immunization approved for youths under 18, according to the health department. No vaccine has yet been authorized for children younger than 12.

About 84.7% of residents 65 and older, 72.6% of those 50 to 64 years old and 57.6% of people in the state between the ages of 18 and 49 have received at least one vaccine dose, the data shows.

Vaccines by race:

Approximately 2.5 times more white people than Black people have been fully vaccinated in Maryland, the data shows. Those demographics account for 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population. White residents have received roughly 2.3 times more first doses than Black residents.

Progress closing the racial gap in vaccinations has come slowly. A month ago, the difference was 2.7 times for people fully vaccinated and 2.5 times for first doses.

Meanwhile, Latino residents, who make up about 10.6% of Marylanders, have received almost 8% of all vaccine doses administered in Maryland where the recipient’s ethnicity was known, up from just below 7% a month ago, the data shows.

Vaccines by county:

For at least a month, Somerset County has trailed the rest of the state’s jurisdictions in terms of the share of its population that’s been fully vaccinated. About 30.3% of Somerset’s roughly 26,000 people have been fully vaccinated, according to health department data.

The southernmost locality on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Somerset’s population is about 54% white and 41% Black, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. About 23.6% of residents in Somerset live in poverty.

Not far ahead of Somerset is Cecil County, the farthest north on the Eastern Shore. About 32.2% of Cecil’s approximately 103,000 people have been completely immunized. Census estimates show Cecil is about 88% white; about 10.3% of Cecil’s residents live in poverty.

Across the state, about 9% of residents live in poverty.

Pacing the state in vaccinations is Howard County, which has seen 55.9% of its approximately 326,000 people complete their coronavirus immunizations.

In the Baltimore Metro Area, Howard’s population is about 56% white, 20% Black and 19% Asian, according to census estimates. About 5% of Howard residents live in poverty, the smallest share in the state.

Montgomery County, Maryland’s largest with about 1 million residents, has seen roughly 52.4% of its people get fully vaccinated.

Montgomery County, located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., is about 60% white, 20% Black and 20% Latino. About 7.3% of residents live in poverty.

This article will be updated.

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