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Maryland reports 771 new coronavirus cases and eight more deaths on Election Day

Just hours after polls opened in Maryland for the last time this election cycle, state officials reported another 771 coronavirus cases Tuesday and eight fatalities from COVID-19.

With these Election Day additions, Maryland has confirmed 147,766 cases and 4,015 deaths since officials began tracking the spread of the virus in March. Through Monday’s data, Maryland had the 33rd most cases per capita and the 17th most deaths per capita in the country, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

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According to state officials, Maryland’s seven-day testing positivity rate was 3.93% Tuesday, slightly lower than Monday. Hopkins, which calculates this measure differently than the state, reported the rate as 3.22%. The World Health Organization has encouraged governments to wait until their positivity rates are below 5% for 14 straight days before beginning to ease virus-related restrictions.

While Maryland’s positivity rate has remained under this benchmark, Gov. Larry Hogan noted Tuesday morning on Twitter that five jurisdictions are now reporting positivity rates over 5%: Allegany, Dorchester, Garrett, Queen Anne’s and Somerset counties. Garrett County was reporting the highest positivity rate as of Tuesday at 6.03%.

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Ten of Maryland’s 19 other jurisdictions were reporting positivity rates above 4%: Baltimore City was reporting a rate of 4.12%, and Prince George’s County was brushing up against the benchmark with a rate of 4.96%. The county reported a 5.08% rate Monday.

On Tuesday, the state reported 562 people are currently hospitalized from the virus, up from 529 the previous day. The number of people being treated in intensive care units also increased by 10 to 143, more than twice the recent low Sept. 20 of 68 people in the ICU.

Meanwhile, the state was reporting a testing volume of nearly 20,000 Tuesday. Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’scounties — the state’s three most populous jurisdictions — continued to lead the pack in terms of the number of tests conducted.

On Tuesday, Prince George’s County continued to report the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state, with 33,488 cases — more than 7,000 higher the case count being reported by Montgomery County, the jurisdiction with the second highest number of cases.

Prince George’s County also has reported the most deaths from COVID-19, although the gap between its count and the count in Montgomery County is much narrower than the jurisdictions' case tallies. As of Tuesday, Prince George’s reported 839 fatalities, while Montgomery reported 835, one more than the previous day.

Meanwhile, Baltimore City reported 81 more cases Tuesday, bringing its total to 18,292 cases. It also reported two more deaths.

Marylanders 60 years of age and older continue to make up a disproportionate share of those who have died from COVID-19, compared to the percentage they comprise of the state’s population.

Of the 4,013 deaths for which age data is available, roughly 87% were among people of this age group. For comparison, this demographic only makes up 23% of the state’s population, according to the Census Bureau.

However, Marylanders who are between the ages of 10 and 29 have contracted the virus at a rate that is slightly disproportionate to their share of the state’s population. Of the 147,766 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, 41,017 — or roughly 27.8% — were among this age group, which comprises roughly 26% of the state’s population.

Black and Hispanic Marylanders also continued to contract the virus at a disproportionate rate, compared to the share they make up of the state’s population. Of the 125,972 coronavirus cases for which race data are available, about 60.8% were among these two demographic groups, though they made up roughly 41.7% of the state’s populace.

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