Maryland adds 781 coronavirus cases, four deaths Friday

Maryland officials reported 781 new coronavirus cases on Friday and four new deaths associated with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

With Friday’s additions, Maryland has confirmed 134,329 cases and 3,887 deaths in total since state officials began tracking the spread of the virus in March. Through Thursday’s data, Maryland had the 29th most cases per capita and the 16th most deaths per capita in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

According to the university, it had conducted the 32nd-most tests per capita in the country. Maryland officials reported a total testing volume of just over 3 million on Friday, up by over 27,000 from Thursday. Officials also reported that nearly 11,000 additional people had tested negative on Friday.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate increased slightly from the previous day, sitting at 3.09% heading into the weekend.

Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, reported the state’s seven-day positivity rate to be 5.53%. Rather than calculate this rate by looking at the percentage of tests conducted that return a positive result — as state officials do — the university uses the percentage of people who test positive for the virus in a weeklong span, meaning individuals who are tested multiple times, regardless of results are only counted once in its measure.

This difference is significant because the World Health Organization says governments should wait until their positivity rates measure below 5% for 14 straight days before beginning to ease back virus-related restrictions.

According to state officials, Maryland has been under this threshold since July — the last day the state reported a daily positivity rate higher than 5% was July 28 — but Johns Hopkins hasn’t reported a rate lower than that bench mark for weeks.

After the number of people hospitalized from the virus’s effects dropped slightly on Thursday, this number increased again on Friday. Maryland reported four new COVID-19 patients on Friday, bringing the total to 416. According to state officials, 111 patients are currently being treated in intensive care units, up by two from Thursday.

As of Friday, 7,869 total people had been released from isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

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