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Maryland COVID hospitalizations, testing positivity decline as death toll spikes after state recategorizes 500 fatalities

The same day Maryland health officials recategorized more than 500 deaths as COVID-19 fatalities, the state’s hospitalizations and testing positivity rate continued to decline.

Here’s where the state health department’s key coronavirus indicators stood Thursday:

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Cases

With 217 new coronavirus infections recorded Thursday, Maryland now has seen 459,095 cases since March 2020. The state has reported an average of 311 cases everyday over the past two weeks.

Deaths

The coronavirus has killed 9,368 Marylanders throughout the pandemic. The total reflects the more than 500 mislabeled deaths and five more reported Thursday.

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On average, the state has reported 11 deaths daily over the last 14 days.

Hospitalizations

About 399 people remained hospitalized statewide Thursday, 33 fewer patients than the day before.

Testing positivity

The state’s average testing positivity rate was 1.84%, down from 1.87% a day earlier.

The results of 23,747 tests were returned Thursday, up from 18,141 Wednesday, but less than the roughly 29,000 reported a week ago.

Vaccinations

Maryland reported 39,971 COVID-19 vaccinations Thursday, with 14,274 receiving a first dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna’s two-shot vaccines and 24,747 more completing the course. A further 950 single-shot Johnson & Johnson immunizations were administered.

More than 2.8 million people in Maryland, roughly 47% of the state’s population, have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, more than 3.4 million residents, about 56% of residents, have received at least one vaccine dose.

Vaccines by age:

With just the Pfizer vaccine approved for use in people under 18 but none for use in anyone under 12, about 24% of Maryland’s youth between those ages have received at least one dose.

About 84.5% of Marylanders 65 and older, 72% of residents between the ages of 50 and 64 and 57% of residents 18 to 49 years old have gotten at least one immunization.

Vaccines by race:

About 2.54 times more white Marylanders than Black residents have been fully vaccinated in the state, down from about 2.7 times a month ago. The two groups make up 58.5% and 31% of Maryland’s population, respectively.

Latino people, who account for at least 10.6% of state residents, represent about 7.3% of the people who’ve been fully vaccinated and whose ethnicity was recorded, the data shows. A month ago, approximately 6% of those completely immunized in the state identified as Latino.

Vaccines by county:

The southernmost jurisdiction on the state’s Eastern Shore, Somerset County, continues to lag behind all other localities in terms of its coronavirus vaccination rates. About 29.8% of Somerset’s approximately 26,000 residents have been fully vaccinated.

Somerset is about 54% white and 41.5% Black, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. About 23.6% of the people in Somerset live in poverty, the highest share in the state.

By comparison, Howard County has seen about 54.9% of its roughly 326,000 people fully vaccinated — the top mark in the state.

Census estimates show Howard County’s population is almost 56% white, 20% Black and about 19% Asian. About 5% of people in Howard live in poverty, the smallest share in the state.

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