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.

Maryland’s seven-day average positivity rate on Wednesday dropped below 4% for the first time since March 16, when the average sat at 3.96%.

An average of 3.89% of Maryland’s coronavirus tests over the last seven days came back positive.

After the seven-day average positive test rate in late March surpassed the 5% mark —  — it has been trending downward for about two weeks.

The World Health Organization has recommended that states and local jurisdictions should maintain a positive test rate of 5% or below for 14 days before relaxing coronavirus-related restrictions. However, Maryland has not always followed that advice when making decisions to tighten or ease restrictions.

The seven-day average rate of positive tests yesterday was 4.44% for Marylanders younger than 35 and 3.54% for Marylanders older than 35.

State officials on Wednesday newly reported 1,002 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of about 0.23% from Tuesday.

At least 445,493 Marylanders have tested positive for COVID-19, while 3,324,741 have tested negative as of Wednesday morning, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

A total of 8,521 Marylanders have died from COVID-19, with 20 additional deaths reported since Tuesday. There are also 187 deaths suspected to be related to coronavirus.

Maryland has completed 9,614,621 coronavirus tests to date, with 28,436 test results reported in the past 24 hours.

Of the state’s total number of confirmed cases, 41,117 people who tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized at some point, including 1,130 who are currently hospitalized.

Of those currently hospitalized, 861 are in acute care and 269 are in intensive care.

The number of acute care patients fell by 40 while the number of intensive care patients rose by three, marking a net decrease of 37 fewer people hospitalized with coronavirus compared to Tuesday.

A total of 1,906,800 Marylanders have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, state data showed on Wednesday.

Of the two-dose vaccines, Maryland has administered a total of 2,582,101 first doses and 1,725,218 second doses.

In the past 24 hours, the state has reported another 24,913 administered first doses and 29,610 second doses.

Maryland providers have also administered single-dose vaccines to a total of 181,582 people, including 628 doses that were reported in the past 24 hours.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, there have been 82,515 confirmed cases in Prince George’s County; 69,528 in Montgomery County; 62,832 in Baltimore County; 50,499 in Baltimore City; 42,219 in Anne Arundel County; 19,342 in Frederick County; 18,736 in Howard County; 15,956 in Harford County; 14,050 in Washington County; 10,455 in Charles County; 9,038 in Carroll County; 7,409 in Wicomico County; 6,789 in Allegany County; 5,971 in Cecil County; 5,773 in St. Mary’s County; 4,134 in Calvert County; 3,541 in Worcester County; 2,901 in Queen Anne’s County; 2,685 in Dorchester County; 2,533 in Somerset County; 2,256 in Caroline County; 2,057 in Talbot County; 1,968 in Garrett County; and 1,304 in Kent County, according to the dashboard.

Maryland has confirmed 24,260 cases in people age 9 or younger; 45,119 in people ages 10-19; 81,583 in people ages 20-29; 76,116 in people ages 30-39; 66,504 in people ages 40-49; 66,486 in people ages 50-59; 44,392 in people ages 60-69; 24,435 in people ages 70-79; and 15,596 in people age 80 or older.

The state has identified 232,335 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients as female and 212,156 as male.

Of the Marylanders who have tested positive for COVID-19, 135,534 are Black, 10,726 are Asian, 156,649 are white, 67,787 are Hispanic, 20,746 are another race, and data is not available for the remaining 53,049.

Nationwide, there have been at least 32,177,167 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, including at least 573,383 deaths. The U.S. has conducted more than 429.5 million coronavirus tests to date as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, 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...