Maryland acknowledged a grim milestone on Thursday as it surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to data from Maryland’s Department of Health, the state has reported 10,011 confirmed deaths, after 21 deaths were reported on Thursday.
“More than 10,000 lives have now been taken from us by this deadly virus. Each of these Marylanders was the most important person in the world to someone, and our prayers are with all the family members and loved ones who are grieving,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said in a statement on Thursday.
Hogan directed flags in the state to be flown at half-staff to memorialize those lives lost.
“We have overcome so much over the last 19 months. Our recovery continues, and more people are getting vaccinated every day. But even while the worst may be behind us, this virus remains a significant threat to the vulnerable,” he continued.
Maryland has high vaccination rates: Roughly 82 percent of people aged 18 years and older have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 shot, while 75 percent are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Yet the state is still grappling to contain a higher caseload of COVID-19 infections.
State data indicates that 804 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19. On Tuesday, the state saw 1,189 cases and 2,197 cases the day prior, per CDC data. In comparison, cases were as low as in the double digits in July.
An emergency measure that requires K-12 schools to wear facial coverings was approved on Tuesday by a legislative panel in Maryland in effort to curb further spread of the virus, effective for a maximum of 180 days, according to The Associated Press.