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.

The number of Marylanders hospitalized with COVID-19 grew by 23 patients on Thursday, marking the sixth straight day the figure has increased, according to data that the state released today.

Of the 528 coronavirus patients who are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, 395 are in acute care and 133 are in intensive care.

The number of intensive care patients decreased by four since Wednesday, and has remained relatively flat for the past week.

However, the number of acute care patients has increased for seven straight days since falling to 299 on July 16, fueling the state’s recent increase in hospitalizations.

At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan indicated some of the new hospital patients are younger people, “who fortunately are not as sick as those older, more vulnerable, more serious cases that we were dealing with in the spring, many of whom were coming from nursing homes.”

He said the trend may indicate why the number of intensive care patients has remained stable.

The rate of positive tests for Marylanders age 35 and younger is 6.57 percent, compared with a rate of 3.50 percent for residents age 35 and older, Hogan said.

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a July 6 briefing that “the average age of people getting infected now is a decade and a half younger than it was a few months ago.”

The increased number of Marylanders testing positive for COVID-19 could be attributed to a number of factors, including young people returning to the workforce, transmission by asymptomatic individuals, people failing to follow social distancing and health guidelines, and other factors.

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about 66 percent of “frontline workers” in the U.S., including people working in grocery stores, public transit, cleaning services and other industries, are younger than 50.

Maryland has hospitalized a total of 12,037 people for COVID-19 at some point during the pandemic.

Officials have confirmed a total of 80,836 coronavirus cases, while 708,205 people have tested negative for the virus as of Thursday morning, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

The state confirmed an additional 664 cases, an increase of about 0.83 percent.

Health officials reported five additional COVID-19 deaths since Wednesday, bringing the total number of fatal cases to 3,281. There are also 128 people whose deaths are suspected to be related to coronavirus.

An additional 16,043 test results were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of completed tests to 1,016,222. Over the past seven days, an average of 4.56 percent of Maryland’s coronavirus tests have come back positive.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, there have been 21,038 confirmed cases in Prince George’s County; 16,654 in Montgomery County; 10,345 in Baltimore County; 9,842 in Baltimore City; 6,144 in Anne Arundel County; 3,242 in Howard County; 2,820 in Frederick County; 1,679 in Charles County; 1,514 in Harford County; 1,316 in Carroll County; 1,206 in Wicomico County; 826 in Washington County; 790 in St. Mary’s County; 576 in Cecil County; 509 in Calvert County; 439 in Worcester; 371 in Caroline County; 341 in Queen Anne’s County; 294 in Dorchester County; 274 in Talbot County; 244 Allegany County; 223 in Kent County; 111 in Somerset County; and 38 in Garrett County, according to the dashboard.

Of the state’s confirmed coronavirus cases, 2,592 have been people age 9 or younger; 4,669 have been people ages 10-19; 13,325 have been people ages 20-29; 15,191 have been people ages 30-39; 13,881 have been people ages 40-49; 12,287 have been people ages 50-59; 8,615 have been people ages 60-69; 5,387 have been people ages 70-79; and 4,889 have been people age 80 or older.

Maryland has identified 42,241 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients as female and 38,595 as male.

Of the Marylanders who have tested positive for COVID-19, 23,905 have been Black, 20,670 have been Hispanic, 17,213 have been white, 1,551 have been Asian, 3,805 have been another race, and data is not available for the remaining 13,692.

Nationwide, there have been at least 3,972,162 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, including at least 143,204 deaths and 1,210,849 recoveries. More than 48 million people in the U.S. have been tested for COVID-19 as of 10 a.m. Thursday, 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...