Maryland reports more than 1,500 new COVID-19 cases

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Christine Condon, The Baltimore Sun
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Once again, Maryland reported more than 1,000 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 and more than 1,500 newly diagnosed cases on Wednesday.

Up until mid-March, the state’s coronavirus numbers were mostly decreasing from a peak in January, but amid loosening restrictions, they’ve worsened. All the while, the state is rushing to vaccinate the population, and has already fully inoculated close to a quarter of its residents. But Tuesday, the state had to halt its use of one of the three vaccines over an extremely rare health concern.

Here’s today’s coronavirus update:

Cases

Health officials in Maryland reported 1,552 new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday.

For eight of the last 10 days, 1,000 or more new cases have been reported in the state. Through the first half of March, the state was consistently below 1,000, but since then, cases have increased. The two-week average is around 1,300 new cases a day.

Still, the state is recording considerably fewer cases than earlier in the pandemic. When infections soared in December and January, the state repeatedly reported more than 3,000 new daily cases.

During the length of the pandemic, Maryland has reported 430,351 cases of COVID-19.

Deaths

State health officials said Wednesday that nine more people have died due to complications from the virus.

In sum, 8,307 people have died in Maryland from COVID-19 since the pandemic struck in March 2020.

Hospitalizations

For the past 17 days, at least 1,000 people have been reported hospitalized due to COVID-19. Wednesday, 1,236 people were reportedly receiving care in Maryland hospitals, seven fewer than Tuesday.

For most of March, the state did not eclipse 1,000 hospitalizations at a time, and the lowest total was 765 patients.

That’s compared to mid-January, when infections hit a peak, and as many as 1,952 patients were reported hospitalized.

In total, close to 40,000 people in Maryland have been hospitalized with the disease since last March.

Positivity Rate

The state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate increased to 5.69% from 5.53%, despite the fact that the state administered close to twice as many tests Tuesday than on Monday.

The rate has been above 5%, a threshold that the World Health Organization considers a precursor to safe reopening, since March 29. Jurisdictions are supposed to remain below 5% for two weeks before lifting restrictions on businesses and public places. In Maryland, most capacity restrictions have been removed, but face masks and social distancing are still required.

This story will be updated.