BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland reported 1,479 new COVID-19 cases and 16 new deaths, according to state health department data released Thursday morning.

The percentage of people testing positive decreased slightly by .01% to 4.04%.

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Doctors say the new cases are fueled by dangerous strains targeting the unvaccinated. During an August press conference, Gov. Larry Hogan said the Delta variant, a strain that is reportedly two to four times more contagious than the original virus strain, accounts for nearly every new confirmed case in Maryland.

“The vaccines are without a doubt our single most effective tool to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 and the surging Delta variant, and Maryland’s vaccination rate continues to outpace the nation,” Hogan said.

More than 3.8 million Maryland adults are fully vaccinated.

Hospitalizations increased by 22 to 797. Of those hospitalized, 588 remain in acute care and 209 are in the ICU.

Since the pandemic began, there were 532,340 total confirmed cases and 10,212 deaths.

There are 3,892,489 Marylanders fully vaccinated. The state has administered 7,918,602 doses. Of those, 3,947,972 are first doses with 3,750 administered in the past 24 hours. They have given out 3,589,994 second doses, 3,870 in the last day.

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The state began to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again in April after the CDC and FDA lifted their pause on the vaccine due to a rare blood clot found in some women.

A total of 301,237 Marylanders have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 964 in the last day.

On September 24, after the CDC granted final approval for Pfizer’s booster, Gov. Hogan announced the immediate authorization of the booster shot for Marylanders who have received their second Pfizer shot at least six months ago. Hogan had already approved use for vulnerable populations in early September.

The state has administered 78,141 additional or booster vaccine doses, 5,945 in the last day.

The state reported 83.4% of all adults in Maryland have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In August, the state launched a post-vaccination infections dashboard that is updated every Wednesday. There have been 18,243 total cases among fully vaccinated Marylanders as of last Wednesday, Sept. 22.

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Of those cases, 1,331 vaccinated Marylanders were hospitalized, representing 8.73% of all Covid cases hospitalized in the state. One hundred fifty-six fully vaccinated Marylanders have died, representing 8.36% of lab-confirmed Covid deaths in the state.

CBS Baltimore Staff