Coronavirus hospitalizations in Maryland have dropped to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic was just taking hold, according to the state health department.
Meanwhile, the state notched another low mark in its average testing positivity rate — the second consecutive day of a new record low.
Here’s a look at where the COVID-19 indicators stood Saturday:
Maryland added 86 coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 461,183, according to the health department.
That’s the third time this week the state recorded fewer than 100 infections.
Nine more people were reported dead from COVID-19, meaning the disease has claimed 9,464 casualties in the state since officials began to track its effects in March 2020, the data shows.
About 192 people remained in Maryland hospitals facing the coronavirus, 20 patients fewer than the day before, according to the state. Fewer than 200 hospitalizations have not been recorded since March 28, 2020.
In January, the state regularly approached 2,000 coronavirus patients daily, pushing hospital capacity in the state. Toward the end of April, the state recorded days with more than 1,200 people hospitalized.
More than 43,500 people have been hospitalized in Maryland throughout the epidemic, the state said.
The state notched a new record low COVID-19 testing positivity rate, 0.9%, down from 0.91% Friday, at the time the latest low mark, data shows.
Measuring the average number of tests returned positive over the past week, the rate has plummeted from a January peak of nearly 9.5%.
Health officials said 19,607 tests were returned, with a total of more than 10.6 million nasal swabs from Maryland analyzed for the coronavirus since March 2020.
Maryland reported 29,284 new COVID-19 vaccinations, with about 9,452 more people receiving their first of two-dose vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and 18,824 completing the course. The state said 1,008 of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot immunizations were administered.
Supply of the latter should receive a boost with federal regulators expected to approve millions of doses from the troubled Baltimore plant of vaccine manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions.
And with the state slowly shuttering its mass vaccination clinics, it is simultaneously nearing 6.5 million vaccine doses administered.
More than 59% of Marylanders have received at least one vaccine dose, while about 3.14 million residents, or about 51.9% of Maryland’s roughly 6 million people, have been fully vaccinated either by finishing a two-dose regimen or receiving the single-shot vaccine, the data shows.
The state has reported an average of 30,346 vaccinations daily over the last week.
Vaccines by age:
The health department said 71.5% of Maryland adults have received at least one vaccine dose, including 85.8% of Marylanders 65 and older, about 74.6% of residents 50 to 64 years old and 60.4% of people in the state between the ages of 18 and 49, according to the health department.
Just one vaccine is available for people under 18 and none has yet to be approved in children younger than 12. Maryland has gotten at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech immunization to 43.4% of its youths 12 to 17 years old, health data shows. An NBC News analysis showed Maryland was one of just seven states to have partially vaccinated at least 40% of its adolescents.
Vaccines by race:
About 2.44 times more white residents than Black residents have been fully vaccinated in Maryland despite those demographic groups accounting for 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, according to the health department. Four weeks ago, the difference was 2.6 times.
Latino people, who make up about 10.5% of Marylanders, represent about 8% of the people who’ve been fully vaccinated in the state and whose ethnicity was known. That’s up from about 6.5% roughly a month ago.
Vaccines by county:
Howard County (61.1%) is the only jurisdiction in the state to have fully vaccinated more than 60% of its people, according to the health department. But more than 50% of the residents in Montgomery, Talbot, Frederick, Carroll and Worcester counties have completed their immunizations, too.
Seven jurisdictions have seen less than 40% of their populations fully vaccinated. At the top of that list is Caroline County, which has completely immunized 39.6% of its people. At the bottom is Somerset, which trails the rest of the state with 32.4% of its people fully vaccinated. In between are the counties of Cecil, Garrett, Allegany, Wicomico and Washington.
Not far ahead is Baltimore. About 40.4% of city residents have completed their vaccines. In neighboring Baltimore County, approximately 49.7% of residents have finished their coronavirus immunizations.