ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) —For the first time, Maryland released the racial breakdown of coronavirus cases in the state, and African Americans have been hit the hardest with 2,064 cases and 55 deaths.

African Americans make up almost 43 percent of coronavirus cases where the patient’s race is known in the state and 47 percent of the deaths where race is known. Roughly a third of Maryland’s overall population is African American according to U.S. Census data.

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Cases Grow To 6,185 In Maryland, 138 Deaths Reported

Governor Larry Hogan tweeted, “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.”

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said he welcomed the new public data, and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks addressed the racial disparity that has been seen across the U.S.


“Unfortunately, we were not surprised to hear that because it is not just a data point that black and brown and poor people suffer disproportionately from health crises. It is a reality,” said Alsobrooks.

In Baltimore City, the police department announced a growing number of cases within its ranks.

Sixteen officers have tested positive along with three civilian employees. Sixty-three members of the department are in quarantine.

“We are prepared to allocate resources and move human resources to make sure the entire city is covered,” said Commissioner Michael Harrison.

Baltimore City released a new and detailed ‘dashboard’ of coronavirus information by zip code. You can access that information by clicking here.

21215 has the highest number of cases in the city with 64.

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That includes the Pimlico neighborhood where on Friday, a testing site will open by appointment only in the parking lot of the famed race track.

“We will certainly take lessons from that site and apply them to other sites as we look across the city to where it makes sense to place sites that will be equitable and accessible to all of our residents,” said Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner.

On the economic front, a long line of people waited for food outside the recreation center in East Baltimore’s Patterson Park.

It was one of nine recreation centers offering boxed meals Thursday with enough non-perishable food to feed a family of four.

The line stretched almost half the length of the park before noon when the doors opened. Many in Maryland still have not gotten unemployment benefits and are worried about their next meal.

Numbers released Friday show more than 108,000 Marylanders filed for unemployment in the week ending April 4. The state has already surpassed the total number of claims for last year. It takes an average of three weeks to process a claim.

Baltimore County again had the most unemployment claims in the state, and the county executive announced an immediate hiring freeze for non-essential employees.

Baltimore City and Howard County have already done so.

Also Thursday, Governor Hogan’s office announced an update on enforcement of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

“As of yesterday afternoon, since March 24, police across Maryland have conducted 15,941 compliance checks, responded to 1,211 calls for service related to the Governor’s Executive Order and arrested/charged 23 people for violation of the order,” tweeted Mike Ricci, the governor’s communications director.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.