The Latest: Pakistan's cases rise amid large gatherings

A testing service worker places a swab into a vial after testing a person for COVID-19 at a drive-up test site in a parking lot in Dickson City, Pa. on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP)

EASTON — The Talbot County Health Department reported 18 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, Nov. 22, as record levels of COVID-19 testing continue nationally and in Maryland.

There are currently 70 active COVID cases in Talbot County though the positivity rate for tests has dropped to 3.32%. That is below the 5% benchmark set by the health agencies.

A record 2 million new coronavirus tests were conducted nationally, according to Saturday’s daily report from the COVID Tracking Project.

The surge in new tests comes after the 2020 elections spurred by fears in the recent rise in cases, renewed restrictions on the economy and in the run-up to the Thanksgiving holiday and planned family gatherings.

There were 48,895 new coronavirus tests conducted statewide in the past 24 hours, according to a report by the Maryland Department of Health on Sunday, Nov. 22.

That is second highest daily testing total since the pandemic began earlier this year after originating in China.

The highest daily testing was reported Saturday, Nov. 21 with 51,510, according to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The third highest testing day in Maryland was on Thursday.

The state health agency also reported 18 new COVID deaths on Saturday. That brings the statewide total to 4,279.

The positivity rate for COVID tests in Maryland came in a 6.83% on Sunday.

The rise in reported cases has promoted government warnings against Thanksgiving travel, curfews in some states, new and renewed restrictions on restaurants, churches, fitness centers and stores as well as calls for stricter enforcement of mask mandates.

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