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Maryland reports 249 new COVID cases, 8 deaths as state nears 70% of adults being at least partially vaccinated

Maryland’s coronavirus infection rate continued its decline Sunday as health officials reported a testing positivity rate below 2% for the sixth straight day, while the state inched closer toward becoming the latest to getting at least 70% of adults at least one vaccine dose.

Here’s how the Maryland Department of Health’s coronavirus measures broke down Sunday:

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Cases

There were 249 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the state to 459,777 total cases since March 2020.

The state hasn’t reported more than 250 new cases in a single day since May 22 and has averaged 212 daily cases since May 24. About a month ago, the state was averaging more than four times the number of cases per day over a seven-day period.

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Deaths

State health officials reported eight more people have died due to COVID-19, bringing the state’s fatalities to 9,395 people since March 2020.

Hospitalizations

Currently, 346 people in Maryland are hospitalized due to COVID-19, 29 fewer people than the day before. Of those, 93 required intensive care.

On April 30, more than 1,000 people were hospitalized with the disease.

Positivity

The statewide seven-day average testing positivity rate is now at 1.57%, down from 1.61% a day earlier and a new low for the state. Maryland has not reported a statewide seven-day average positivity rate above 2% since May 24.

An additional 27,242 coronavirus tests were completed in the past 24 hours.

Vaccinations

An additional 29,381 vaccine doses were administered Saturday and 69.9% of residents 18 or older have received at least their first dose of a vaccine.

Maryland is likely one day away from becoming the 11th state to reach 70% of adults having received at least one vaccine dose. President Joe Biden has set a goal for the country as a whole to reach 70% by July 4.

Of the doses administered in the past 24 hours, state health officials reported that 12,729 were first doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines and 15,333 were second doses, while 1,319 were of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As of Sunday, more than 2.9 million Marylanders have been fully vaccinated, or about 48.01% of the state’s population.

Vaccines by age:

Among Marylanders 12 to 17 years old, 36.7% have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the only immunization approved for those under 18.

Additionally, about 84.8% of residents 65 or older, 72.76% of those 50 to 64 years old and 57.9% of Marylanders 18 to 49 have received at least a first vaccine dose.

Vaccines by race:

About 2.52 times more white people than Black people have been fully vaccinated in Maryland. Those demographics account for 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively.

The state has made slow progress in closing the racial gap in vaccinations. Roughly two months ago, about 3.5 times more white people had been fully vaccinated compared with Black residents.

Health officials do not have racial data on 361,788 administered vaccine doses, not counting those administered by federal entities.

Meanwhile, about 7.48% of people who have been fully vaccinated and whose ethnicity was known identify as Latino. The demographic makes up about 10.6% of Maryland’s population.

The state also has made progress in closing the ethnic gap in recent months as, about two months ago, only 3.95% of fully vaccinated residents identified as Latino.

The state does not have ethnicity data (Latino versus non-Latino) for 367,113 administered vaccine doses, not counting federal entities.

Vaccines by county:

Somerset County, the southernmost jurisdiction on the Eastern Shore, continues to trail the rest of the state in its rate of fully vaccinated residents. As of Sunday, about 30.4% of that county’s roughly 26,000 people have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 54% of the county’s population is white and 41% is Black, and that 23.6% of its residents are living in poverty, the highest rate in Maryland. The statewide poverty rate is about 9%.

Cecil County has the second-lowest fully vaccinated rate of residents, with about 32.3% of the jurisdiction’s roughly 103,000 residents have been fully inoculated as of Sunday. Cecil County is about 88% white and 10.3% of residents live in poverty, according to Census Bureau estimates.

Howard County continues to lead the state in fully vaccinated residents, with health officials reporting Sunday that about 56.21% of its roughly 326,000 residents have completed their coronavirus immunizations. The county’s population is about 56% white, 20% Black and 19% Asian, according to census estimates. About 5% of residents live in poverty, the smallest share in the state.

Montgomery County, Maryland’s largest jurisdiction, with about 1 million residents, has seen roughly 52.8% of its people get fully vaccinated. Montgomery County, located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., is about 60% white, 20% Black and 20% Latino. About 7.3% of residents live in poverty.

According to state health officials, about 37.3% of Baltimore City residents have been fully vaccinated, along with nearly 46.0% of Baltimore County residents.

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