BALTIMORE — Maryland officials reported 2,885 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Saturday, the state's second-highest daily total during the pandemic.
Officials said 16 more people have died since Friday in connection with COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.
Saturday's case total fell just behind Thursday's record-breaking daily total of 2,910 new cases.
The state has reported 2,000 or more new cases in six of the past eight days — a number not seen before this period — and a thousand or more cases for 18 straight days
Those additions bring the state to at least 179,971 infections and 4,261 virus-related deaths during the pandemic.
The state's positivity rate fell slightly on Saturday to 7.13%, the state reported.
But the number of people hospitalized because of coronavirus rose slightly to 1,229, with 278 patients in intensive care, the state said.
Maryland residents were warned Thursday to seriously consider limiting travel through New Year's Day. The state Department of Health on Thursday launched a webpage to answer frequently asked questions about holiday travel during the pandemic.
"We are all tired of this pandemic and desperately want it to be over, but now is not the time to let our guard down," said department secretary Robert R. Neall.
The latest numbers came out as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to stay home for the holidays and consider canceling plans to travel to visit relatives outside their households.
Entering Saturday, Maryland ranked 37th among states in cases per 100,000 and 21st in deaths per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus resource center.
Hopkins, which calculates positivity differently than the state, has Maryland's seven-data positivity rate through Friday's data as 6.3%.
Baltimore Sun reporter Ben Leonard contributed to this article.
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