Maryland is seeing positive signs in its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus: The percentage of residents testing positive for the virus has now hit its lowest level since the start of the pandemic. And a day after recording the state’s highest positivity rate, the area around the popular vacation spot of Ocean City is also seeing a steep drop in its positivity rate.
All told, Maryland’s seven-day average positivity rate now sits at 3.62%, according to new figures released by the governor’s office Monday. The positivity rate for people under the age of 35 is at 4.78%, which is down nearly 30% from two weeks ago.
Across Maryland’s 23 counties and the City of Baltimore, all but two jurisdictions have seen their positivity rates shrink to below 5% currently.
The two exceptions are Queen Anne’s County at just above 5% and Prince George’s County at 5.4%.
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Prince George’s County has been particularly hard hit: It has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state — nearly 24,000 — and the second highest number of deaths connected to the virus at 755 lives lost.
Worcester County, which is home to the popular vacation destination of Ocean City, has also seen a downward trend in its positivity rate, falling to 3.78% on Monday after spiking up to nearly double that earlier this month.
Just a day ago, Worcester’s positivity rate was the highest in the state at 6.23%, which officials said was concerning, even as there were signs the positivity rate had begun to plateau.
The governor’s office has said a total of nearly 1.5 million tests has been conducted, and more than 17% of the state’s entire population has now been tested for the virus.
The figures also show the hospitalization rate has begun to plateau, and the number of patients in ICU beds has dropped below 120 for the first time in nearly a month.
Overall, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Maryland has been on a steady climb downward over the past several months.
The peak — when nearly 27% of coronavirus tests were coming back with positive results — came on April 17. The statewide positivity rate has been below 5% since June 25.
Virginia’s current seven-day positivity rate as of Aug. 6, the most recent date available, was 7.4%, according to Virginia Department of Health figures, which is nearly double Maryland’s rate.