Coronavirus cases hit record numbers in Virginia, Maryland

Coronavirus cases hit record numbers in Virginia, Maryland

Coronavirus cases across Maryland and Virginia have spiked to record levels in recent days, part of a national trend of rapidly rising infection rates that shows no sign of slowing.

Maryland reported more than 1,300 new cases Monday, a record sixth straight day with more than 1,000 new cases reported. At the same time, the state's seven-day positivity rate climbed above 5 percent, the highest it's been since June. 

The state also reported 707 people hospitalized, up 52 from Sunday. Hospitalizations are now at the highest point since June 17, and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) warned that the state has “reached a critical turning point” in the pandemic.

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Hogan tweeted that while the state has been preparing for the surge for the past eight months, "we cannot afford to let our guard down. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance."

Hogan has not indicated any statewide efforts to reimpose restrictions from earlier in the pandemic, but local leaders are allowed to impose their own.

Meanwhile, Virginia reported an additional 1,302 infections on Monday as the seven-day average of new cases rose above 1,400, a record high. 

Cases were highest in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia, as well as the rural southwest area of the state, according to the Department of Health.

The state's seven-day average test positivity rate remained at 6 percent.

While the numbers are high for Virginia and Maryland, the rate of infections is much lower compared with the rest of the country.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national seven-day average of new infections per 100,000 residents was 33 on Monday.

That number was about 17 in Virginia and about 20 in Maryland. 

North Dakota, which has the highest rate of infection in the country, recorded more than 170 new cases per 100,000 residents.

The United States became the first country to surpass 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a grim milestone that comes as experts warn of a surge this fall and winter. 

The U.S. continues to have more cases than any other country, averaging more than 111,000 new cases per day. Nearly 133,000 new cases were reported Friday, the highest number reported in a single day.