More than 108,000 unemployment filings were made last week in Maryland, the state reported Thursday, as jobless claims continue to rise sharply due to shuttered businesses because of the coronavirus.
The state reported 108,508 unemployment insurance claims for the week ending April 4. More than 235,000 people filed for unemployment in a three-week period. The state already has received more jobless claims this year than in all of last year.
While many people have missed the window to file for weekly benefits due to technical difficulties the state has experienced, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan says that will not affect the ultimate payment of the full eligible benefit amount. Michael Ricci says the state has upgraded its systems to enable people to file all weekly claim certifications for weeks missed.
The new one-stop unemployment insurance website opens up at 7 a.m. Friday. If you were previously required to file for benefits by phone, you can also apply online at MDunemployment.com.
But some users reported on social media that the site wasn't working for them just an hour after launch. Ricci said the state is looking into it.
Nationwide, a staggering 16.8 million Americans have been thrown onto the unemployment rolls in just three weeks, as the coronavirus outbreak has brought world economies to a near standstill.
Meanwhile, Maryland's health department is reporting the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state has climbed to at least 6,185, an increase of 656 cases since Wednesday. There have been a total of 138 deaths from the virus reported in Maryland. There have been 35,344 negative tests.
Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia
COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia
For the first time, the state also released available data on cases and deaths by race, showing that black residents have more cases and deaths from the virus. Some 2,064 African Americans have had the disease, compared to 1,540 cases among white residents. There have been 55 deaths among African Americans, compared to 39 deaths among white residents. There have been 122 cases among Asians and six deaths. Data is not available on 1,354 cases involving 21 deaths.
“Today, we are able to publish 75% of the currently available data, which shows troubling disparities and points to a persistent public health challenge that we must address,” Hogan said on Twitter.
Prince George's County, which has a black population of about 63%, has the most cases of the virus in the state with 1,476. Prince George's also leads the state in deaths from the virus with 35.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services reported Thursday that there has been a total of 57 confirmed cases in its system. That includes 10 inmates, 22 correctional officers, three employees with the Division of Parole and Probation, 19 contractural staff, one clinical health employee and two employees in the Office of the Secretary.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
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