ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Health reported Friday that the state’s positivity rate for the coronavirus is now at its lowest level since the pandemic started.

In Anne Arundel County, masks are now mandatory outside if you can’t stay six feet apart. Even with the new mandate, Gov. Larry Hogan called out the county for not doing enough testing.

Baltimore City, on other hand, is at the top of the list of big jurisdictions aggressively testing. At least 12 percent of the population there has gotten a test with a focus on hard hit zip codes like 21224 — that’s Canton — and east Baltimore.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

“That continues to be an area that we are focused on. As we talked about today, our partnership with Hopkins will allow us to have an additional mobile testing site there,” Letitia Dzirasa, Health Commissioner of Baltimore City, said.

Starting Monday, Baltimore Rec and Parks will open five pools, but you will need to pre-register and get your temperature checked.

The positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 [6.33 percent] is 84 percent higher than the positivity rate for Marylanders age 35 and older [3.44%].

71,910 people have tested positive for the virus in Maryland, including Donald and Michelle Spence, a Baltimore County couple.

“My chest felt like I had a weight, like a truck was sitting on my chest,” Donald Spence said.

To complicate matters, Donald Spence was laid off in June, and he’s been waiting for his unemployment benefits, with no luck.

Data from the state shows Maryland had new high for unemployment claims this week.

The Maryland Department of Labor issued the following statement to WJZ:

“Labor is committed to ensuring that each and every eligible claimant receives the benefit payments they are entitled to while maintaining the integrity of the state’s unemployment insurance program.”

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.

Ava-joye Burnett

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