Fewer than 1,000 people are hospitalized Sunday with the coronavirus for the first time in more than a month, and the Maryland Department of Health reported a continued decline in other key metrics.
Here’s how the state’s key pandemic metrics broke down Sunday:
Maryland health officials reported 649 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth consecutive day that fewer than 1,000 cases were reported.
State officials have now reported a total of 448,989 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, since March 2020.
Health officials reported that 10 more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the state fatality total up to 8,585 deaths throughout the pandemic.
The state reported that 960 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, 49 fewer people compared with Saturday’s reported total.
It’s the first time since March 29 the health department has reported fewer than 1,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and the fifth consecutive day that hospitalizations have decreased. Currently, 261 people diagnosed with COVID-19 are in intensive care units, while an additional 699 are in acute care units.
The state reported a seven-day average positivity of 3.64%, a slight decrease of .06 percentage points since Saturday.
It marks the ninth consecutive day the state has been below a 5% rate, which measures the average number of positive tests over the past seven days. The World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions stay under 5% for two weeks before easing restrictions.
The state reported a total of 25,981 completed tests over the past 24 hours, a decrease of nearly 14,000 compared with the 39,599 reported Saturday.
An additional 15,783 people were reported to have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, according to health officials, increasing the total number of state residents who have been fully inoculated against COVID-19 up to a little more than 2.1 million.
Nearly 35% of Maryland residents have been fully vaccinated by either receiving both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Additionally, about 2.77 million state residents, or about 45.77% of Maryland’s population, have received at least their first dose of a vaccine.
Health officials reported 13,004 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were administered in the past 24 hours, in addition to 15,433 second doses of the two vaccines and 350 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The state reported a total of 28,787 doses were administered Saturday.
Vaccines by age:
The state reported that 81.06% of residents 65 or older have received at least their first dose of a vaccine as of Sunday. In addition, 65.03% of Marylanders 50 to 64, 48.40% of those 18 to 49, and 33.53% of 16- and 17-year-olds have gotten their first doses, according to the health department.
Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for 16- and 17-year-olds and no immunization has been approved for children under 16.
Vaccines by race:
About 2.73 times more white people have been fully vaccinated compared with Black residents, according to state health department data. The demographics account for 58.5% and 31% of the state’s roughly 6 million residents, respectively.
The state does not have racial data on 267,666 administered vaccine doses, not counting federal entities, which were added to the health department’s data for the first time Saturday.
In addition, about 5.67% of residents who have been fully vaccinated identify as Hispanic or Latino, according to available data on ethnicity from the state health department. About 10.6% of Marylanders are Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The state does not have ethnicity data — Hispanic versus non-Hispanic — for 280,534 administered vaccine doses, not counting federal entities.
Vaccines by county:
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Howard County is now the second county to report that more than 40% of its population has been fully vaccinated, as more than 130,000 residents out of its population of 325,690 people have been fully inoculated as of Sunday.
Talbot County, an Eastern Shore jurisdiction of about 37,000 people where about 29.7% of its residents are 65 or older, still leads the state as 44.34% of the county’s population has been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.
Meanwhile, farther south on the Eastern Shore, Somerset County continues to have the state’s lowest fully vaccinated rate as 22.24% of its roughly 26,000 residents have been fully inoculated, according to state health department data.
Among the state’s five most populated jurisdictions, which represent more than 65% of the state’s total population, Montgomery County has the highest rate of fully vaccinated residents, with state health officials reporting that about 37.54% of the county’s more than 1 million residents have been fully inoculated.
Prince George’s County, which has continually ranked among the bottom counties in the proportion of residents who have been vaccinated, reported the lowest rate among the five jurisdictions, which also include Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and Baltimore City. As of Sunday, 25.38% of Prince George’s roughly 909,000 residents have been fully vaccinated, according to state health department data.
Of the two most populated counties in Maryland, Montgomery is about 60% white and Prince George’s is about 64% Black.