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Coronavirus

Maryland adds 601 new cases of the coronavirus, 13 deaths

A day after state officials encouraged public school districts to reopen this fall based on newly announced state benchmarks, Maryland health officials added 601 new cases of the coronavirus Friday to the state’s tally and reported 13 additional fatalities over the last 24 hours.

The additions push the total number of cases to 106,664 and the state’s death toll to 3,593.

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The number of COVID-19 cases over a 14-day average has trended mostly downward over the last two weeks.

The state measured its testing positivity rate at 3.32% on Friday, up slightly from Thursday. The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, which also measures positivity rates throughout the country, measured Maryland’s at 4.39%, one among 23 other states and U.S. territories under the recommended 5% threshold.

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Hopkins and the Maryland Department of Health calculate positivity rates using two different data sets. Maryland considers the number of total tests administered while Hopkins uses the number of people tested.

All but one of Maryland’s 24 counties had testing positivity rates under 5% on Friday, according to state data. The rate in Worcester County, home to Ocean City and its beaches, jumped to 5.72%. The county has counted close to 800 cases there among residents, far fewer than the most concentrated regions in the state, where thousands of people have been infected.

Prince George’s and Montgomery counties combined account for 45,769 of the state’s infections, or about 43%. Baltimore City and Baltimore County have reported 29,461 cases within their borders, or about 28% overall.

Black, Latino and Hispanic Marylanders have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Black people make up about 30% of the state’s population but lead all other reported racial and ethnic groups in total cases — over 34,000 — and account for nearly 41% of the related fatalities. Hispanic and Latino Marylanders, less than 10% of the state’s population, constitute 24% of the total case count.

People in their 20s and 30s continue to lead all other age groups in the total number of infections. Among those two demographics, nearly 70 people have died due to the coronavirus. Older adults, particularly people 80 and older, make up 45% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths, with 1,633.

Hospitalizations in the state have trended downward since the beginning of August, when close to 600 people occupied beds. Now, state data shows 412 hospitalizations, with 106 in intensive care units. Occupied beds reached a peak at the end of April with about 1,700 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, and more than 14,000 people have been hospitalized since March.


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