Baltimore County added 234 new coronavirus cases and four new deaths between May 31 and June 1, the largest single-day jump in confirmed cases since the Maryland health department began releasing data in mid-March.
As of Monday 6,299 county residents, or an average of 7.6 people for every 1,000 residents, have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. And 333 county residents have died from the disease or complications from it.
The jump in confirmed county cases comes on the heels of expanded testing capacity in the county, after County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. announced on May 22 that residents can receive a coronavirus test without a doctor’s order at all six testing sites.
“It is still a bit early to tell for sure if the increase is due to broader testing, but we are taking a look," said Baltimore County health spokeswoman Elyn Garrett-Jones.
Garrett-Jones added that other factors could have contributed to the spike in confirmed cases, like possibly increased travel over the Memorial Day weekend.
The western and eastern portions of the county have been hit the hardest by coronavirus. In the southwest, Catonsville’s 21228 Zip Code contains the highest number of coronavirus cases in the county, with 556 confirmed, followed by the 21133 in Randallstown, which has seen 431 cases. Gwynn Oak (21207) has 416 confirmed cases.
In eastern Baltimore County, the 21220 Zip Code in Middle River contains 305 cases, while 281 cases have been recorded in Essex (21221). To the southeast, 366 cases have been recorded in Dundalk (21222).
In the heart of the county, Parkville’s 21234 Zip Code has seen 358 confirmed cases, while 146 cases have been recorded in Cockeysville (21030). Towson (21204) has seen 120 coronavirus cases.
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With increased testing statewide, Maryland added 549 new cases of the coronavirus statewide Monday and 20 more deaths due to the disease, bringing the state’s total to 53,327 cases. As of June 1, coronavirus has killed 2,431 people in the state.
As of May 28, the most recent data available on the county’s coronavirus dashboard, 130 county residents were being hospitalized for coronavirus. Hospitalizations have remained mostly flat since the county began reporting daily counts on its coronavirus dashboard late April. The largest number of hospitalizations, 142, was recorded May 2.
County nursing homes account for more than half of its deaths — 242 assisted living facility patients and three staff members have died in county nursing homes, where a total of 1,810 cases have been confirmed.
Nursing homes with the largest outbreaks are Frederick Villa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center with 111 cases; Village at Augsburg Nursing Home, with 113 confirmed cases; and several FutureCare facilities, including FutureCare Old Court in Randallstown, where 122 cases have been confirmed, and FutureCare Cherrywood in Reisterstown, which has 141 cases.
The Maryland health department reports numbers on cases and deaths daily, but releases data specific to nursing homes weekly.
The nursing home infection rate in Maryland is among the highest known in the nation, and nursing homes across the U.S. with large black and Latino populations have been twice as likely to see an outbreak as facilities with mostly white residents, according to data compiled by The New York Times.
Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Dance contributed to this article.