This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). CDC tests are provided to U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories and select international laboratories. Photo courtesy of CDC.

For the first time since May, the seven-day average rate of positive coronavirus tests is slightly higher for older Marylanders than for younger Marylanders.

Of the coronavirus test results reported over the last seven days, 7.48% came back positive for Marylanders younger than 35 while 7.53% came back positive for Marylanders older than 35.

Although separated by a difference of just 0.05 percentage points, today’s numbers mark the first time in more than eight months that the average positivity rate for younger Marylanders has been lower than that of older Marylanders.

The seven-day average for Marylanders under 35 surpassed the average for Marylanders over 35 for the first time on May 3 when the younger group’s average positive test rate reached 23.57%, 0.3 percentage points higher than the older group’s average of 23.27% on that day. Since then, the average has remained higher for younger Marylanders.

For Marylanders overall, an average of 7.5% of coronavirus tests over the last seven days came back positive.

Maryland health officials on Friday reported 2,396 new coronavirus cases, an increase of about 0.72%, bringing the state’s confirmed caseload to a total of 336,915 cases. Meanwhile, 2,760,718 Marylanders have tested negative for the virus, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

The state has completed 6,630,564 coronavirus tests to date, with 51,900 test results reported in the past 24 hours.

Maryland officials on Friday reported 57 more deaths related to coronavirus, raising the state’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities to 6,617. There are also 175 deaths suspected to be related to coronavirus.

Currently, 1,768 Marylanders are hospitalized with coronavirus, with 44 fewer COVID-19 patients hospitalized compared to Thursday.

Of those currently hospitalized, 1,344 are in acute care and 424 are in intensive care.

The number of acute care patients declined by 44 while the number of intensive care patients remained the same.

Maryland has hospitalized a total of 30,697 with coronavirus to date.

The state has distributed the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine to a total of 280,769 Marylanders, including 16,675 who received it in the past 24 hours.

Of the Maryland recipients of the first vaccine dose, 34,092 individuals have received the second vaccine dose, including 3,212 people in the past 24 hours.

As of 10 a.m. Friday, there have been 64,764 confirmed cases in Prince George’s County; 55,951 in Montgomery County; 45,197 in Baltimore County; 36,453 in Baltimore City; 31,125 in Anne Arundel County; 14,817 in Frederick County; 13,860 in Howard County; 10,869 in Washington County; 10,649 in Harford County; 7,470 in Charles County; 6,533 in Carroll County; 6,015 in Allegany County; 5,922 in Wicomico County; 4,553 in Cecil County; 4,303 in St. Mary’s County; 3,177 in Calvert County; 2,917 in Worcester County; 2,257 in Queen Anne’s County; 2,140 in Somerset County; 1,908 in Dorchester County; 1,750 in Garrett County; 1,735 in Caroline County; 1,568 in Talbot County; and 982 in Kent County, according to the dashboard.

Of Maryland’s confirmed cases, 16,085 are people age 9 or younger; 31,438 are people ages 10-19; 61,643 are people ages 20-29; 58,501 are people ages 30-39; 51,651 are people ages 40-49; 50,855 are people ages 50-59; 34,189 are people ages 60-69; 19,457 are people ages 70-79; and 13,096 are people age 80 or older.

Maryland has identified 176,722 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients as female and 160,193 as male.

Of the Marylanders who have tested positive for COVID-19, 95,336 are Black, 55,721 are Hispanic, 114,359 are white, 7,275 are Asian, 15,760 are another race, and data is not available for the remaining 48,464.

Nationwide, there have been at least 24,643,586 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, including at least 410,637 deaths. The U.S. has conducted more than 286.5 million coronavirus tests to date as of 10 a.m. Friday, according to a real-time dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...