**FILE** Courtesy of Anne Arundel County Department of Health via Twitter

Maryland’s coronavirus positivity rate is again approaching an acceptable level as the state continues to recover from a spate of cases driven by the highly contagious omicron variant of the virus.

The seven-day daily average positivity rate dropped by 0.4% for the second straight day on Monday to 6.12% — down from as high as 29.98% as recently as Jan. 5, according to state health department data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s generally recommended positivity rate is 5% — a level Maryland hasn’t seen since early December when the omicron variant began gaining a foothold worldwide.

The state reported 772 new cases Monday, compared to 1,124 the previous day.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations increased by 10 to 1,153, but that total is still a far cry from early January when hospitalizations peaked at nearly 3,500.

Since the outset of the pandemic in early 2020, Maryland has reported roughly 965,000 coronavirus cases and 13,486 related deaths — including 21 on Monday — according to health department data.

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