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COVID-19 In Maryland: Hospitalizations & Positivity Rate Continue To Decline

BALTIMORE (WJZ) --  COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland continue to fall, with the number of patients now at 558, according to data released Saturday by the Maryland Department of Health.

Hospitalizations fell by 69 patients over the past 24 hours. During a surge in cases from the Omicron variant last month, the number peaked 3,462 patients.

Of those currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maryland, 433 are adults in acute care and 113 are adults in intensive care. Ten children are in acute care and two are in the ICU.

The positivity rate dipped by 0.15% to 3.15%, down from last month's high when the positivity rate was just shy of the 30% mark.

As Maryland's key health metrics continue to show signs of improvement, state and local officials have begun rolling back safety measures that were put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that masks will no longer be required inside state buildings beginning next week. Mask requirements are also being dropped for government buildings in Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties.

Additionally, Hogan also calling for education officials to lift the state's school mask mandate, a policy change the state Board of Education said it will evaluate at next week's meeting.

On Wednesday night, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted 8–0 to remove the mask mandate from its public schools.

Maryland added 865 more COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. On Wednesday, the state added 24,800 reinfections dating back to September to the tally. The total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began now stands at 997,047.

A total of 13,741 Marylanders have died since the start of the pandemic, following an increase of fourteen deaths since Friday.

Earlier this month, Maryland emerged from a 30-day state of emergency issued by Hogan in response to a COVID-19 surge that pushed hospitals to capacity levels. Yet healthcare leaders say hospitals still face nursing shortages.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95% of Maryland's adult population has gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. When including residents between the ages of 5 and 17, 89.9% of the populations has gotten at least one shot.

There are 4,463,709 Marylanders fully vaccinated. The state has administered 11,292,559 doses of the vaccine.

Of those, 4,694,067 are first doses,17,308 in the last 24 hours. Another 4,129,469 are second doses, 13,433 in the past day. A total of 334,240 Marylanders have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 486 in the past day.

The state has administered 2,134,783 boosters, 4,490 in the past 24 hours.

State officials continue to encourage Marylanders to get boosted, even rolling out a $2 million lottery as an incentive for people to get their boosters.

Starting this month, the state health department is offering booster shots at all six of Maryland's casinos.

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