xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland adds 862 coronavirus cases, 27 COVID-19 deaths

Maryland health officials reported 862 new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday, as well as 27 fatalities associated with the disease.

The daily tallies bring the state to 378,490 and 7,607 total COVID-19 cases and deaths, respectively, since officials began tracking the disease in March. Maryland confirmed its first cases March 5.

Advertisement

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan addressed the anniversary during a news conference Tuesday, applauding his state’s efforts to curtail the coronavirus while touting the ongoing vaccination campaign as an eventual end to the worst of the pandemic.

“We can approach this anniversary knowing that our early and aggressive actions, the ongoing vigilance on behalf of Marylanders and now the availability of safe and effective vaccines are all continuing to bring us closer to a return to normalcy,” Hogan said.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Some 36,616 people received vaccine doses across Maryland over the past 24 hours, the health department reported Wednesday. Both approved vaccines require two shots to protect against severe illness. There were 21,549 people who received their first dose of the vaccine and 15,067 got their second shot, according to the latest data.

Some 768,468 people have gotten preliminary immunizations in Maryland since mid-December, while 380,799 have been fully vaccinated — about 12.7% and 6.3% of the state’s 6 million residents, the state reported.

Maryland has averaged 30,387 daily doses over the past seven days, the highest average daily immunization rate recorded to date.

However, state health department data continues to reveal an uneven rollout, with white people receiving the majority of Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccines despite minorities bearing a disproportionate share of the disease’s effects.

Accounting for about 58.5% of the state’s population, 40% of its coronavirus cases and 51% of deaths for which race data was known, white people have received about 62% of the state’s immunizations.

Meanwhile, Black residents make up about 31% of the population and accounted for 33% of cases and 34% of deaths but have gotten about 16% of doses.

Only two counties have administered first doses to less than 10% of their populations. Surrounding Washington, D.C., Prince George’s and Charles counties account for about 18% of the state’s population, but have administered preliminary immunizations to about 7% and 9% of their respective residents, according to state data.

However, those residents saw some of the biggest day-over-day increases in overall vaccinations in Maryland, according to an analysis of health department figures reported Wednesday.

Some 7,731 immunizations were administered in Prince George’s over the last 24 hours, marking a 9.7% increase in overall vaccinations — the steepest hike statewide — for the county which has trailed the rest of the state in immunizing its people to date. Maryland health officials have blamed vaccine hesitancy in the county, where approximately 64% of the 909,000 residents are Black and 19.5% are Hispanic, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

About 822 vaccines were administered in Charles County over the past 24 hours, an increase of about 4% in total vaccinations. Only Prince George’s and Allegany County in Western Maryland recorded greater day- over-day increases.

Hogan announced Tuesday that the state would open a mass vaccination site in Charles County, intended to serve Southern Maryland. In his remarks, the governor also touted the decline of key metrics used to track the disease. Hogan said the development was “very encouraging.”

Included among the figures Hogan cited was the state’s testing positivity rate, which declined again over the previous reporting window. The rate, which measures approximately how many tests over the past seven days came back positive, was 3.8% Tuesday, down from 3.9% Monday.

More than 29,000 tests were completed in the state over the past 24 hours.

The number of people hospitalized also decreased, with 960 patients in Maryland hospitals for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, 18 fewer than a day before. Of those hospitalized, 249 required intensive care, nine fewer than a day before.

Some 34,672 people have been hospitalized since March, according to health department data.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford acknowledged the positive trends for coronavirus cases and the progress of immunizations being administered. Still, he said, Marylanders can’t yet drop their guard.

“We have to continue to be diligent,” he said during a video meeting of the state Board of Public Works on Wednesday. “Just because some of us have received the vaccine doesn’t mean we can go hog wild and take our masks off. We still have to be careful.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement