For the first time, The Maryland Department of Health releases novel coronavirus stats by race
Earlier this week, Governor Larry Hogan directed the state health department to begin publishing everything that is available on racial and ethnic breakdowns on COVID-19 cases, with updates as more data becomes available.
Hogan cautioned that information could be skewed because doctors and hospitals were sending tests out of state to private labs. Governor Hogan posted the information Thursday on Twitter. “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,” said Hogan.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Maryland's population is 58.8 percent white, 30.9 percent black, 6.7 percent Asian and 3.6 percent other. Baltimore City officials want to get the word out about the coronavirus to everyone but add that the African-American community is being under-represented in statistics. There is a growing concern in Baltimore that the virus is having a disproportionate impact on African-Americans. With Baltimore's population of African-Americans at 62-percent, City Health Commissioner Doctor Letitia Dzirasa says the city recognizes it has a number of health disparities among Baltimore's population. Officials are hoping that a data base being built by the Baltimore City Health Department, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland Medical System will show which population groups are being severely impacted by the virus.
The Department of Health reports 6,185 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland. This marks an increase of 656 cases since Wednesday. As of Thursday, 35,344 people tested negative for the virus and 376 patients have been released from isolation. There a total of 138 deaths in the state
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services says there are 57 COVID-19 cases within the system. Twenty-two correctional officers, ten inmates and 25 staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The facilities impacted are located in: Baltimore City, Cumberland and Hagerstown with the most cases were reported in Jessup.