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Maryland reports 13 deaths from COVID-19, highest daily total since August

Maryland on Saturday saw its highest single-day COVID-19 death toll since late August, as state officials confirmed 13 new deaths and 796 new cases.

That brings the total number of state residents who have been infected with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus to 139,487 and the total number of confirmed deaths attributed to the disease to 3,945. An additional 146 people are considered likely to have died from COVID-19. Among states, Maryland has the 31st most cases per capita but the 15th most deaths per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

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The 13 fatalities announced Saturday represent the highest single-day death toll since Aug. 28, when 13 were reported as well. Deaths are not necessarily reported on the date they occur, but Maryland has reported at least eight fatalities for five straight days, the longest such streak since June 30 through July 4. Fifty deaths have been reported over the past five days, more than half the total seen over the first 19 days of October.

After four days with at least 700 new cases in September — with none coming in the second half of the month — there have been nine such days in October, including the past three days. There hasn’t been another three-day streak of more than 700 new cases daily since mid-August.

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Maryland’s seven-day positivity rate, which measures the approximate percentage of positive tests over a week, was 3.04% as of Saturday, effectively flat with Friday.

There were 455 people hospitalized for the disease as of Saturday, three fewer than Friday. Of those, 109 people were being treated in intensive care units, down from 122 Friday. It is the 12th day in a row that more than 100 people have been sick enough to require this elevated level of care. The state has reported at least 400 current hospitalizations every day since Oct. 13, after previously being below that benchmark for all but one day since Aug. 28.

For the first time, Maryland has reported more than 30,000 test results for three straight days. The state has performed more than 3.2 million tests on almost 1.9 million residents, with about 7.5% of those tested receiving a positive result.

Less than 3% of those confirmed to have the virus have died, with that figure at nearly 8% for those at least 50 years old. Nine of Saturday’s reported victims were at least 70 years old, an age range representing 70% of those the virus' effects have killed in Maryland.

But those in their 20s and 30s accounted for more than 38% of Saturday’s new cases, though those age groups combine to account for about 26% of Maryland’s overall population, according to U.S. Census data.

Of the 710 confirmed infections for which the state reported the infected person’s race Friday, 53% were among residents who are Black, Hispanic or Latino, groups representing close to a combined 42% of the state’s population. An additional 41% were among white residents, who represent about 59% of Maryland’s overall population.

Despite representing nearly double the proportion of the state’s population, white residents, at about 43%, account for nearly the same proportion of Maryland’s virus-related deaths as Black residents, at about 41%. Five of the 10 fatal victims who were identified by race Saturday were Black, three were white, and two were Hispanic or Latino.

About 15% of those infected in Maryland have not been identified by race, while the races of 19% of the dead are also not known.

Of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, 13 saw their seven-day testing positivity rates decline from Friday, though four of the state’s six most populous jurisdictions were among those with rising rates. That includes Baltimore, as the city’s positivity rate was reported to be above 3% for the first time since Sept. 6, when it was 3.21%. Baltimore’s rate has been beneath Maryland’s overall reported rate every day after Aug. 29 but as of Saturday is only .01% beneath the state’s.

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