Biden advisers to meet vaccine firms as Trump stalls handoff

A bus stop ad for COVID-19 testing is shown outside Pfizer world headquarters in New York on Monday Nov. 9, 2020. Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, but it doesn't mean a vaccine is imminent. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

EASTON — The recent rise in reported COVID-19 cases in Maryland and nationally has coincided with a significant surge in tests for the virus.

Maryland and other states have seen an upswing in reported COVID-19 cases and positivity rates for tests. There have also been upswings in COVID testing statewide and nationally. There were 28,574 new tests reported in Maryland on Sunday and there have close to 3.9 million conducted since March.

There have been 131,084 COVID tests conducted statewide since Nov. 12.

There have also been record numbers of COVID tests being conducted with 1.7 million nationwide on Nov. 13, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Those have coincided with rises in national cases.

Locally, the Talbot County Health Department reported eight new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, Nov. 15.

There are currently 49 active cases in the county and the positivity rate for COVID tests has increased to 4.55%, according to the local health department.

There were 13 new cases reported in Talbot on Saturday, Nov. 14. There have been 702 COVID cases in Talbot County since the pandemic began.

The increases in Maryland are concerning to Gov. Larry Hogan and health officials.

But they are not as severe as posted in other states.

Maryland has reported 11,394 new COVID cases in the last seven days through Sunday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. That ranks 27th among U.S. states. 

Illinois has reported 85,007 new cases during the same seven-day period, the most of any U.S. state. Texas reported 63,611 and California 51,420 new cases, according to the CDC.

The rise in reported cases has prompted new warnings and restrictions in some states such as New York and large cities including Chicago.

Among U.S. states, Maryland ranks 39th in reported COVID cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to the CDC.

Maryland has had 28.2 cases per 100,000 residents the past seven days.

North Dakota has a per capita coronavirus rate of 178.4 while South Dakota’s is 165.3 per 100,000 residents. Those are the most among U.S. states and territories.

Delaware ranks 36th on the same list with 31.6 cases per 100,000 residents.

The Maryland Department of Health reported 1,840 new cases, 17 new COVID hospitalizations and nine new deaths from the virus on Sunday. That brings current statewide hospitalizations to 938.

There have been 4,153 reported deaths from the virus in Maryland since the pandemic began in March.

The positivity rate for coronavirus  tests in Maryland is at 6.57%. That is above the 5% threshold recommended by health agencies.

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