Maryland reported 6,869 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the most infections the state has recorded in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.
The previous record for daily infections was 6,218, set on Tuesday.
The state’s positivity rate is now 12.80%, more than double what it was less than a month ago.
On Monday, the Maryland Department of Health started updating information on confirmed COVID-19 cases, testing volume and positivity rate after taking the data offline in early December due to a cyberattack.
Forty people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals Wednesday, raising the total of patients currently hospitalized for the virus in Maryland to 1,505, according to state data.
That number triggers additional actions announced by the state government earlier this week to address the surge, including the optimization of bed capacity and the reduction of non-urgent and elective procedures to free beds and health workers.
State authorities expect hospitalizations to rise to a pandemic high over the next few weeks, largely due to the unvaccinated.
“Our projections now show that in the coming weeks, we could reach record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland, possibly over 2,000,” Hogan said in a statement. “We have been actively preparing for this scenario in coordination with all of our hospitals, and today’s actions are the latest step in that planning.”
“With unvaccinated patients driving the strain on our health care system, we urge Marylanders to do your part by getting your vaccine or booster shot as soon as you can.”
The jump in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations occurs at a time when neighboring jurisdictions Virginia and Washington, D.C. are also facing a dramatic rise in their health metrics. For the third time in days, the District shattered its record of daily cases, reporting 1,524 new infections on Wednesday, the most ever.
Virginia confirmed almost 6,473 new cases Thursday, among its highest number yet.
Earlier this week, Gov. Larry Hogan announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, as part of his regular testing routine. The governor, who is a cancer survivor, wrote on Twitter he was “feeling fine at the moment.” He’s fully vaccinated and had received the booster.