Maryland reports 1,758 new coronavirus cases, 31 deaths follow Christmas holiday weekend

Phillip Jackson, The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Maryland health officials reported 1,758 new COVID-19 cases and 31 more deaths Sunday following the Christmas holiday weekend as some testing centers had been closed.

The state’s coronavirus case and death toll continued to climb as more Marylanders boarded more flights out of the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall airport last week during an unusual holiday celebration as the nationwide pandemic continues coming into the last days of a bleak year for American citizens.

Sunday’s coronavirus totals now show 267,198 confirmed cases and a death toll of 5,545. Maryland saw a total of 16,686 cases over the last seven days and 93 deaths per 100,000 people, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Maryland Health Department reported the state’s positivity rate at 7.48 %. The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, which measures positivity rates differently than Maryland reported a 5.5 % positivity rate for the virus in the state.

Maryland is one of 48 states with positivity rates above 5 %. The World Health Organization advises governments against lifting restrictions on gatherings, capacity limits and other reopening measures until positivity rates reach 5% or lower for 14 consecutive days.

As the vaccination for the virus rolled out this month, a total of 19,818 people have been reported to receive the new Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state’s health department.