- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2020

Maryland released a breakdown of its COVID-19 data by victims’ race for the first time Thursday, which showed that African Americans made up a majority of both confirmed cases and deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, directed the Maryland Department of Health earlier this week to being releasing racial data. Though the data was only three-quarters complete because some testing was done in private labs, it showed 37% of Maryland’s coronavirus victims were black and 28% were white through Wednesday. 

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated in 2019 that 58.8% of Maryland residents were white, 30.9% were black and 10.4% were Hispanic or Latino.

“Today, we are able to publish 75% of the currently available data, which shows troubling disparities and points to a persistent public health challenge that we must address,” Mr. Hogan wrote.

Other hard-hit parts of the country have reported similar imbalances, including New Orleans and Detroit. About 70% of coronavirus victims in New Orleans are black.

The District has begun reporting racial data as well, but so far roughly only 45% of the data includes the race of the victim.  

In a 24 hour period, the region saw a 1,136 increase in the number of coronavirus cases and now has a total of 279 deaths from complications related to COVID-19.

The District of Columbia reported five new deaths Thursday morning, bringing the city’s total deaths from COVID-19 to 32. Out of 700,000 people, 1,523 people have tested positive for coronavirus with a total of 393 people in recovery.

Out of a population of roughly 6 million Marylanders, 6,185 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, 138 people have died and 376 people have been released from isolation.

Virginia now has a total of 4,042 cases out of a population of 8.5 million and109 Virginians have died from COVID-19. The Virginia Department of Health does not have the data on the number of cases in recovery.

• Sophie Kaplan can be reached at skaplan@washingtontimes.com.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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