Maryland has reported the highest number of daily COVID-19 tests performed since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Saturday, Maryland reported a new daily high of 51,510 tests conducted as state officials continue to expand testing capacity during the recent surge of the coronavirus cases, strongly encouraging all Marylanders to get tested for COVID-19.
Prior to this mark, the state’s previous record high was 43,969 test results.
The state reported 2,885 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, for a total of 177,887 confirmed cases, and 16 new deaths, for a total of 4,261 confirmed deaths.
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Maryland lawmakers renewed criticism Friday of Gov. Larry Hogan’s April procurement of 500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korea. The Washington Post reported the first batch was flawed and never used, but the governor continues to defend the tests.
“We are and will continue to be much better positioned than most states when it comes to testing because of Maryland’s acquisition of test kits from South Korea, our strategic stockpile of tests and supplies, and our successful long-term testing strategy,” Hogan said.
Saturday’s milestone comes one day after the governor announced that the state surpassed 4 million total COVID-19 tests.
“As we battle this fall surge, one of the most important things you can do to protect your friends and family is to get tested for COVID-19,” Hogan said. “If you are a college student planning on returning home for the holidays — get a test. If you are planning to spend any time around your grandparents — get a test. If you are returning from any out-of-state travel — get a test.”
Maryland’s seven-day average positivity rate dropped slightly on Saturday to 7.13%, and the daily positivity rate also decreased to 6.41%.
The statewide positivity rate has been over the CDC benchmark of 5% since November 9.
Total current hospitalizations rose by 22 to 1,229, their highest levels since May 30 and 278 patients are currently in intensive care units, the highest level since June 17.
Maryland’s average case rate has risen to 36.2, with a 49.3% increase in the past week. Case rates have now risen above 10 in all 24 jurisdictions and above 20 in 20 jurisdictions.
The state supports and manages dozens of community-based sites located in areas with the greatest needs, including the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, Six Flags America theme park, and Annapolis Capitol Area testing sites, according to a press release.
Beginning on Monday, Nov. 30, the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital testing site will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Marylanders can plan to be tested at one of more than 230 testing sites by visiting the state’s testing website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.