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COVID-19 In Maryland: Statewide Positivity Rate Surpasses 10%

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The percentage of people in Maryland testing positive for COVID-19 stands at more than 10%, nearly doubling in the two weeks since the state Department of Health's website was hacked.

For the first time since the attack, the Department of Health on Monday resumed topline data reporting on its COVID-19 dashboard, restoring data for confirmed cases and positivity rate, among other key metrics.

The latest data show Maryland has seen a total of 621,220 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 28,541 since Dec. 3. Among them: Gov. Larry Hogan, who announced Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Notably, health department data show that the seven-day average testing positivity rate has grown to 10.27%, an 89-percent increase compared to the 5.43% positivity rate reported two weeks ago.

"I want to thank the team of people who have been working diligently over the past 16 days to bring our COVID-19 data reporting back online," Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said. "This data is critical to our keeping the public informed and to further our COVID fighting operations."

The Department of Health's servers were taken offline after the agency detected an intrusion affecting its network infrastructure systems Dec. 4. Since then, the only metrics updated daily have been vaccinations and hospitalizations.

Hospitalizations have risen by 88 to 1,345 as Maryland approaches 1,500 COVID-19 patients. If the state reaches that threshold, hospitals statewide would be required to roll out their pandemic plans.

This marks the 11th consecutive day that COVID-related hospitalizations have remained above the 1,000-mark in Maryland, which up until earlier this month hadn't surpassed that total since late April.

Of those hospitalized, 1,039 adults are in acute care and 291 adults are in intensive care, according to health department data. Ten children are in acute care and five others are in intensive care.

A total of 4,223,728 Marylanders are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the most recent data. The state has administered 10,036,866 doses of the vaccine. Of those, 4,407,916 are first doses and 3,898,124 are second doses.

The state reports that 325,604 Marylanders have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows at least 90% of all Marylanders age 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Even as officials monitor cases of the new Omicron variant, which is believed to be more transmissible than other strains, Hogan said he does not anticipate imposing any lockdowns in Maryland. He's asking residents to socially distance, wear masks in public and get vaccinated.

"The bottom line: if you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, get your booster shot," the governor said last Friday.

In Maryland, everyone age 16 and up is eligible to get the booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

To date, the state has administered 1,405,222 additional or booster vaccine doses, according to the most recent data.

Last week, hospitals throughout the state were directed to free up beds and delay scheduling non-emergency procedures and submit their pandemic plans after the state reached 1,200 hospitalizations.


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