Maryland officials reported Sunday that the state has confirmed 815 new cases of the coronavirus, 30 of them fatal, a decrease in both the number of new cases and deaths one day after the state reported its deadliest day of the pandemic.
Kata Hall, spokeswoman for Gov. Larry Hogan, wrote on Twitter that the state has confirmed 18,581 cases of COVID-19 in total and that at least 827 people have died due to the disease.
Hall added that 83 more people in total have probably died due to the disease or complications brought about by the virus, although those figures have not been confirmed by laboratory testing.
The decrease in deaths and new cases comes after the state saw a spike Saturday, when state health officials reported that 74 people had been confirmed to have died from the coronavirus in a 24-hour period, the single deadliest day of the pandemic in the state.
While the number of newly confirmed cases shows a momentary decrease, the state still has not seen more than two consecutive days in which the number of new cases was lower than the day before.
Michael Ricci, spokesman for Gov. Hogan, wrote in an email that the state tends “to have a lower number of infections on Sundays" but that the uptick in newly completed tests is “encouraging.”
This month, the state bought $9 million worth of supplies from South Korea to administer 500,000 tests as governors across the country continued to show signs of frustration with the Trump administration’s lack of testing assistance.
Hogan said he would decide about reopening the state’s businesses and lifting restrictions on social gatherings once new cases decrease for 14 consecutive days.
Scott Gottlieb — the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner who joined Hogan’s coronavirus response team this month — wrote on Twitter on Sunday that the country is “not out of the woods” despite some declining figures.
“While there are signs of slowing in some areas, and nationally we may have hit a plateau, we’re still recording more than 30K infections a day,” Gottlieb wrote. “The trip down the epidemic curve will be far more [gradual] than the trip up.”
He added that while some hope the decline will be similar to the increase of cases, much as it was in China, the United States’ “mitigation steps were not as stringent as China’s, they were leakier, and our epidemic was far more pervasive across our country.”
He wrote that Americans should expect a more gradual decline in the number of new cases, similar to Italy, which is still reporting hundreds of new fatalities per day, but saw its lowest fatality count in six weeks Saturday, Bloomberg News reported.
“We all want this to be over. And things are mostly trending in the right direction,” he wrote. “But we’re still very much in the thick of the epidemic.”
Hogan appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning to talk about the state’s response to the pandemic. He said on “Face the Nation” that the state has been able to handle the additional pressure put on the health care system but that Maryland was seeing an increase in new cases.
“We can’t stop the virus, but at least up until now, we have stopped the overflow of our health care system, the overburdening of ICU [intensive care unit] beds and ventilators,” Hogan told host Margaret Brennan. “Our hospitalizations and ICU beds are starting to flatten, but our deaths and our infections are starting to go up.”
As of Sunday, 1,463 Marylanders are hospitalized with the disease and 530 people are in intensive care. Over 3,900 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at some point as of Sunday.
Conversely, as many as 910 people have now died or can probably have their deaths attributed to complications from the disease. The past four days have seen a combined 3,770 newly confirmed cases, or about 20% of all cases.
Hogan said on “This Week” that the state has fielded “hundreds” of questions about the safety of ingesting household cleaning products after President Donald Trump raised the idea of that possibly being a treatment for the coronavirus.
The president later said he was being sarcastic, although the transcript of his remarks suggests otherwise.
The governor also pushed back against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s suggestion that Maryland and other states should consider filing for bankruptcy, saying that there is bipartisan support for emergency funding legislation to aid the states affected by the pandemic.
While Hogan has touted successes in aiding the state’s health care system and procuring more resources to test for COVID-19, the state had to temporarily shut down its new online portal, which had been set up to streamline unemployment claims, Sunday to correct technical problems.
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation said officials were working to resolve “technical issues with the online BEACON application” and had taken steps to retain information submitted through the application thus far.
The shutdown was the second time the application has experienced problems since its launch Friday; the application crashed during its first day after it was overwhelmed by the number of workers who looked to submit claims. As of 5:30 a.m. Sunday, over 99,049 accounts had been activated, 56,200 claims had been filed and 62,067 weekly certifications had been filed.
Black Marylanders continue to be disproportionately affected by the virus. There have been 6,742 confirmed cases of the virus among blacks in the state, making them the demographic group most affected despite constituting around 30% of the population.
Hall wrote that 4,276 out of the 18,581 cases have affected white residents, who make up about half of the state’s population.
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About 15% of all confirmed cases in the state, 2,841, have affected the Hispanic population; non-Caucasian Hispanics or Latinos represent about 10% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The state has yet to confirm the demographic data of 3,652 confirmed cases, including 134 fatal cases and 13 deaths probably caused by the virus.
Prince George’s and Montgomery counties continue to lead the state in confirmed cases. The two counties have at least 4,987 and 3,645, respectively.
The 20783 ZIP code — which includes parts of Hyattsville, Adelphi and Langley Park in Prince George’s County — continues to lead in total cases, with 30 new ones in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 447.
Silver Spring continues to see a high number of cases as well, as three ZIP codes associated with the Montgomery County town — 20906, 20904 and 20902 — have a combined 964 cases.
The 21215 ZIP code — which includes parts of Northwest Baltimore and Baltimore County and the FutureCare Lochearn nursing home, where at least 170 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed — now ranks fourth, with 329 confirmed cases.
This article was updated to reflect the correct name of the host of “Face the Nation.”