Maryland reports record-low COVID positivity rate Friday, third straight day below 1%

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BALTIMORE – Maryland on Friday reported its lowest-yet weekly COVID-19 testing positivity rate, which remained below 1% for the third straight day, according to state data.

Hospitalizations have continued to drop, too, and the state reached the milestone of fully vaccinating half of all residents earlier this week.

Here’s where the Maryland Department of Health’s coronavirus indicators stood Friday:

Cases

Another 113 new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday brought the state’s pandemic total to 461,097.

The state reported fewer than 100 new cases twice in the past week, and the statewide case rate has fallen below 2 per 100,000 people.

Maryland was reporting 1,000 or more new cases daily as recently as April, and more than 3,000 per day at the peak of the pandemic in December and January.

Deaths

Nine more people were reported dead Thursday from COVID-19. Maryland has lost a total of 9,459 people to the pandemic since the state began tracking it in March 2020.

Maryland hasn’t reported more than 10 new coronavirus deaths in a day since May 28.

Hospitalizations

The number of people hospitalized in Maryland with coronavirus fell by 15 to 212 Friday. Of those patients, 60 required intensive care, three fewer than Thursday.

Hospitalizations have fallen off dramatically since late April, and are at their lowest level since late March 2020, just after the pandemic began.

Positivity rate

The state reported a record-low seven-day positivity rate of 0.91% Friday after matching Wednesday’s then-record rate of 0.95% Thursday. Before last month, the record low had been about 2.5%.

It could indicate that, even with half the population fully vaccinated, enough surveillance testing is still occurring. If the state were only testing sick people, or the infection rate was greater, the positivity rate would be far higher. The state reported 18,988 COVID-19 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.

At one point in January the positivity rate, which measures the share of coronavirus tests returned positive in the past week, climbed near 9.5%.

Vaccinations

Another 44,128 new doses of the vaccines were administered. That includes 13,113 first doses of the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna regimes, 29,903 second doses and 1,112 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Daily vaccination totals have generally leveled off since mid-April, as more people become inoculated, and the state is making plans to shutter its mass vaccination sites in favor of smaller venues and clinics aimed at reaching the vulnerable or the undecided.

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