Maryland surpasses 300,000 coronavirus cases, adds 28 deaths

Alex Mann, The Baltimore Sun

Days after Maryland marked a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic, eclipsing 6,000 deaths due to the disease COVID-19, it surpassed another Saturday. More than 300,000 people have contracted the virus.

The state recorded 3,758 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, the second-most new cases reported in a 24-hour window since the virus landed in Maryland. Twenty-eight more people died from the disease, according to data from the Maryland Department of Health.

The new figures bring the state’s case count to 303,364 and death toll to 6,075.

While new cases and deaths mounted, hospitalizations for the virus continued to fluctuate.

One day after the state recorded the most ever hospitalizations from the virus, the health department reported Saturday a slight decrease in hospitalizations paired with an uptick in those patients who required intensive care: 1,877 people remained hospitalized with the disease, while 449 were under intensive care — an increase of two over the day before.

On Wednesday the state for the first time this week set a hospitalization record, but officials attributed the bump in part to a change in the way hospitals report their number of COVID patients. Whereas hospitals excluded patients diagnosed with with the disease but who were no longer considered infectious, federal guidance has shifted toward hospitals reporting all coronavirus patients under their care.

Still, 28,296 people have been hospitalized with the disease in Maryland from the time officials began tracking coronavirus data in March.

Meanwhile, after two days on the decline, the state’s testing positivity rate held firm at 9.16%.

As more Marylanders tested positive for the virus, the campaign to vaccinate front-line healthcare workers and emergency responders inched forward.

The state has now given the first dose of the vaccine to more than 2% of its population.

Over the past 24 hours, 12,211 people received their first dose of the vaccine while 1,902 Marylanders received their second shot.

Almost 124,000 people have received their first shot of the vaccine, while the state has administered the second dose to 4,826.

This article will be updated.