COVID-19 continues to affect black Marylanders at disproportionately higher rate

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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the exterior structure of the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19. Image courtesy of CDC.

Black people continue to have the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases out of any racial or ethnic group in Maryland, and a disproportionate percentage of black Marylanders have died due to COVID-19, state data show.

At least 56,770 Marylanders have tested positive for COVID-19, while 290,956 have tested negative as of Friday morning, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

Approximately the same number of white and black Marylanders have been died from coronavirus–1,082 and 1,077, respectively–even though African-Americans only make up 30.9 percent of the state’s population, according to census data.

White Marylanders make up 58.8 percent of the population.

Of the Marylanders who have tested positive for COVID-19, 16,208 have been black, 14,573 have been Hispanic, 11,031 have been white, 1,072 have been Asian, 2,825 have been another race, and data is not available for the remaining 11,061.

A total of 2,580 Marylanders have died from COVID-19, with 34 additional deaths since Thursday. There are also 122 deaths suspected to be related to coronavirus.

Maryland has completed at least 405,414 tests, with 13,174 of those results reported in the past 24 hours. On average, 8.4 percent of tests in the past seven days have come back positive.

After peaking at 26.9 percent on April 17, the statewide positivity rate has been following a downward trend. Public health experts recommend a positive test rate of 10 percent or lower.

All jurisdictions in Maryland except for Kent, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have positive test rates below that 10 percent guideline.

Effective at 5 p.m. today, various non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen as Maryland begins the second phase of its three-phase coronavirus recovery plan, Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Wednesday.

As with the first phase, Hogan ultimately left it up to local leaders to determine whether their jurisdiction would begin the phase two reopening process.

Many leaders have said their jurisdictions will join in lifting of new coronavirus-related restrictions. Among them was Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., who on Thursday said Baltimore County would follow the state’s lead to reduce confusion among residents about differing protocols among the state and counties.

But as of Friday morning, Baltimore City has yet to announce a plan for whether they will begin reopening nonessential businesses.

Of the state’s total number of confirmed cases, 9,346 people who tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized at some point, including 1,076 who are currently hospitalized.

The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations has decreased for nine consecutive days since reaching 1,338 hospitalizations on May 27.

Of those currently hospitalized, 621 are in acute care and 455 are in intensive care.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs has decreased for three days. Before that, the metric had fluctuated but had generally followed a downward trend for about three weeks.

As of 10 a.m. Friday, there have been 16,169 confirmed cases in Prince George’s County; 12,434 in Montgomery County; 6,590 in Baltimore County; 6,038 in Baltimore City; 4,150 in Anne Arundel County; 2,074 in Howard County; 2,069 in Frederick County; 1,185 in Charles County; 967 in Wicomico County; 960 in Carroll County; 939 in Harford County; 547 in St. Mary’s County; 529 in Washington County; 393 in Cecil County; 353 in Calvert County; 268 in Caroline County; 230 in Worcester County; 184 in Kent County; 183 in Allegany County; 163 in Queen Anne’s County; 153 in Dorchester County; 106 in Talbot County; 76 in Somerset County; and 10 in Garrett County, according to the dashboard.

Of Maryland’s confirmed cases, 1,457 have been people age 9 or younger; 2,604 have been people ages 10-19; 7,938 have been people ages 20-29; 10,569 have been people ages 30-39; 10,191 have been people ages 40-49; 9,142 have been people ages 50-59; 6,626 have been people ages 60-69; 4,234 have been people ages 70-79; and 4,009 have been people age 80 or older.

Maryland has identified 29,573 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients as female and 27,197 as male.

Nationwide, there have been at least 1,874,411 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, including at least 108,238 deaths and 485,002 recoveries. More than 18.6 million people in the U.S. have been tested for COVID-19 as of 10 a.m. Friday, according to a real-time dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Marcus Dieterle

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