BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Even as Maryland added more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases, its statewide positivity rate continues to slide, according to data released Thursday by the Maryland Department of Health.

Hospitalizations decreased by 34 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients being treated by hospitals to 3,428. Data show the death toll stands at 12,234 after 63 additional deaths were recorded.

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With the state reporting 10,587 new cases of COVID-19, a total of 871,936 have been documented in Maryland since the outset of the pandemic.

The percentage of people testing positive fell to 25.45%, a 1.46% decrease.

The latest COVID-19 metrics come as Maryland is under a state of emergency issued by Gov. Larry Hogan in response to surging cases and hospitalizations.

Of those hospitalized, 2,844 are adults in acute care settings and 556 are adults in intensive care. Another 23 are children in acute care and five are in the ICU.

Hogan has attributed the surge in cases to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which he said is “now clearly the dominant variant among our state’s lab-confirmed cases.”

The governor said genome sequencing by the University of Maryland found that 88% of recent samples tested positive for Omicron, with that figure rising to 91% among samples taken from hospitalized patients.

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In recent weeks, the state has ramped up its testing operations in an effort to keep up with public demand. That includes the opening of 20 new testing sites statewide that will be staffed by the Maryland National Guard.

Hospitals statewide have freed up beds and scaled back non-emergency procedures, with some shifting to crisis standards of care, in response to the COVID-19 surge.

Hogan issued an executive order on Jan. 4 empowering the Maryland Department of Health to regulate hospital capacity and resources, and authorizing retired, out-of-state and graduate nurses to practice here. A second order aims to beef up EMS response.

The state said vaccination data was delayed Wednesday, but below are the latest figures provided by the health department.

There are 4,315,402 Marylanders fully vaccinated and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 92.9% of the state’s adults have gotten at least one dose. Among Marylanders age 5 and older, 86.8% of residents have gotten at least one does of the vaccine.

The state has administered 10,660,783 doses of the vaccine. Of those, 4,547,699 are first doses, 12,706 in the last 24 hours. Another 3,985,715 are second doses, 11,265 in the past day. The state has administered 1,797,682 booster doses, including 28,426 in the past 24 hours.

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A total of 329,687 Marylanders have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 394 in the past day.

CBS Baltimore Staff