Montgomery County coronavirus cases increase 39% in two days

Montgomery County coronavirus cases increase 39% in two days

State begins publishing racial data on coronavirus cases, deaths

| Published:
Coronavirus dept of health photo

The number of coronavirus cases in Montgomery County has increased 39% in the last two days.

The number of cases in the county rose to 1,214 on Thursday, up from 1,088 on Wednesday and 871 on Tuesday. Statewide, cases increased from 5,529 on Wednesday to 6,185 on Thursday.

One week ago, there were 498 cases in the county.

There are now 29 deaths in Montgomery County, up from 26 on Wednesday. There were no details on the latest people to have died.

Statewide, 138 people have died from the virus.

The State Department of Health began publishing racial data on coronavirus cases and deaths Thursday morning.

There have been 2,064 African American people who have tested positive for the virus and 55 who have died. Another 1,540 white people have tested positive and 39 have died. Among Asians, 122 have tested positive and six have died.

Another 449 people who tested positive, including three who died, were classified as “other.” Data were not available for the remaining cases and deaths.

During a media briefing on Wednesday, Montgomery County Chief Health Officer Travis Gayles said data showing black people are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 “should not come as a surprise.”

When the coronavirus first began spreading, health officials said people with underlying medical conditions were more likely to suffer serious side effects from the disease. Historically, black Americans have been more likely to have those comorbidities, like asthma, diabetes and heart conditions, Gayles said.

In a post on Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union wrote that African Americans are also more likely to hold jobs deemed as “essential” during large-scale shutdowns of businesses. The jobs generally pay low wages, the ACLU wrote, thus black people are more likely to live in subpar housing or be unable to afford nutritious food. Long term, this could lead to chronic health problems, the ACLU wrote.

Montgomery County has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the state as of Thursday morning, behind Prince George’s County, with 1,476 cases. Somerset County has the fewest cases, with four.

In the state, there have been 1,348 hospitalizations, 376 people released from isolation, and more than 35,000 negative test results.

More cases continue to be found in women in Maryland, with 3,320. Men account for 2,865 cases.

There are 1,282 cases in people ages 50 to 59, the highest of any age group. There are 33 cases reported in children 9 years old or younger.

Staff writer Caitlynn Peetz contributed to this story

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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For other Bethesda Beat coverage of the coronavirus, click here.

To see a timeline of major coronavirus developments in Maryland and Montgomery County, click here.

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