Maryland continues to see increases in confirmed cases and deaths from the coronavirus, but Saturday showed a slight decline in hospitalizations, which state officials have said is key to the eventual rollback of social distancing measures.
The state counted an additional 1,001 confirmed coronavirus cases and 58 additional deaths since Friday. A total of 1,156 people have died of the disease in Maryland.
The number of people hospitalized Saturday was 1,657, which is 11 fewer from the day before, according to figures compiled by the state health department. The state reported a peak of 1,711 hospitalizations Thursday.
Gov. Larry Hogan has said a decrease in hospitalizations will serve as a key factor in deciding when to ease restrictions on gatherings, businesses, nonessential travel and other activities that were imposed beginning in March in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“When we start seeing a downward trajectory or a consistent plateauing of those metrics, that can put us in a position to consider lifting the stay-at-home order and beginning our gradual, safe and effective recovery plan,” Hogan said last week.
Of the 1,657 people hospitalized, 1,091 remain in acute care and 566 are in intensive care. Nearly 5,000 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
The areas with the most cases continues to be around the Washington, D.C., suburbs, in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. However, several ZIP codes around the Baltimore area continue to see a higher number of cases, including 21215 with 383 cases, 21228 with 308 cases and 21224 with 289 cases.
The state also reported Saturday there have now been 101,049 negative tests and 95 deaths that were likely caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed by a laboratory test.
Saturday’s increase in cases is smaller than the increase reported Friday, when state officials said 1,730 confirmed cases represented the state’s largest single-day increase yet.
The spike in Friday’s numbers was attributed to the state’s increasing testing capabilities. The state also reported 4,894 negative tests, partially attributed to a backlog of tests reported from an outpatient facility, state officials had said.