Amid a nationwide surge, the eighth full month of Maryland’s coronavirus outbreak has already broken several records, including the most COVID-19 cases in a month. The most dramatic spikes have been in Western Maryland counties that previously had among the state’s lowest infection rates. Here’s a closer look at state and local trends and how they compare to the earlier swells.
Cases are accelerating in every corner of the state.
Coming into November, Maryland was averaging about 74 cases a week per 100,000 residents. This month the state is recording new cases more than twice as quickly. With all 24 jurisdictions outpacing their pre-November case rate, it took only 20 days to surpass May’s record of 31,036 cases in a month. With seven days left in November, the month’s count stood at 38,516 cases.
When coronavirus cases in Maryland were reported
The biggest spikes are in Maryland’s panhandle, previously one of the state’s quieter spots.
Western Maryland’s Garrett and Allegany counties have each reported more cases in November than in the previous seven and half months of the pandemic combined.
Before the month began, the two counties had reported 150 and 766 cases respectively. Through Monday, the two counties reported 354 and 1,727 additional coronavirus cases in November.
November COVID-19 cases by ZIP code
Once rare milestones are being reached every day.
Maryland has reported 2,000 or more new coronavirus cases in seven of the past 10 days. Before this stretch, the state had never hit 2,000 cases in a single day.
Additionally, the state has now reported 1,000 or more coronavirus cases for 20 consecutive days. Last Thursday, the state reported nearly 3,000 new cases.
Ahead of the holidays and amidst the news of the surge in cases, demand for testing has also hit record highs across the state.
Despite the high testing rate, the state’s positivity rate seven-day average has jumped from 3.09% on Oct. 15 to 6.88% on Monday. While hospitalizations and deaths typically lag behind a rise in cases, hospitalizations in Maryland have already more than tripled since early October.
To avoid the possibility of hospitals being overwhelmed, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems will be coordinating between different hospital systems to move patients around more easily.
It’s getting likely you know someone who’s tested positive.
Since March, 183,797 people — or 1 in 33 Marylanders — have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of those people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 1 in 5 were diagnosed in the month of November.
The fears were founded: This surge dwarfs those in the spring and summer.
Officials feared the fall wave could be the worst due to the colder weather and pandemic fatigue. The chart below compares it to previous surges. Each line starts on the day a preceding decline bottomed out.
Maryland’s coronavirus surges: New cases 14-day average
Content Editor Steve Earley contributed to this report.