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Carroll County care facility sees a COVID-19 death for the second straight day

The Carroll County Health Department on Friday announced a death attributed to COVID-19 for the second straight day.

The health department also reported six new cases, though a health department spokesperson said the net increase to Carroll’s case total was five because one resident whose case was reported Thursday lives outside the county, health officials learned. All six were among community members living outside of congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes.

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One day after the health department announced a resident of Brinton Woods Health and Rehab Center at Winfield died after contracting the disease at the facility, it announced Friday that another had died. That brings the death toll at that facility to 11 residents. In total, 38 residents of Brinton Woods and six staffers, two of whom are Carroll residents, have tested positive for COVID-19.

To date, nearly 90% of Carroll County’s deaths attributed to the coronavirus have been traced to congregate living facilities, which saw numerous outbreaks in the spring but only 13 new cases in August.

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Carroll has seen 144 coronavirus-related fatalities to date, with 127 from congregate living facilities and 17 from the wider community. And there have been 1,655 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The new cases reported Friday bringing the county’s weekly community case total to 24, from Sunday through Friday.

Last week, when there were a total of 37 cases, was the lowest Carroll had seen since the last full week of June. Barring a single-day jump Saturday, this week will likely finish below that level. It’s also likely to fall short of the benchmark of 35 weekly community cases that county Health Officer Ed Singer has said he wants to see — for at least two consecutive weeks — before school buildings reopen to students.

Weekly case totals have declined since the week of July 26, which holds the record for the highest weekly case total, with 109. The second-highest total to date is 97, set the week before that. Before then, the peak had stood at 60 cases — during the week of April 5 — since the early phases of the pandemic. The week of Aug. 10, in numbers that were updated to reflect new information, 54 cases were confirmed, and 61 were reported the week before that.

The 14-day rolling average of new community cases reached an unprecedented high — close to double the previous high set in May — at the beginning of August, but it has since plummeted. However, it is only slightly below the record, set in May, that stood until the spike in the second half of July.

The county’s positivity rate, or the rate at which tests of county residents return positive, rose slightly to 1.58%. The statewide rate is at 3.32%.

The number of Carroll countians who have been released from isolation increased by five Friday, to 867. The number of community members who have been hospitalized for the virus increased by two, to 111.

McDaniel College in Westminster did not announce new COVID-19 tests Friday but has thus far reported five positive cases among its campus population and a total of 968 tests administered.

Of the 978 community members to test positive in Carroll, 20 are younger than 10 years old; 97 are in the 10-19 range; 198 are 20-29 years old; 126 are 30-39; 154 are 40-49; 214 are 50-59; 104 are 60-69; 40 are 70-79; 24 are 80-89; and one is in their 90s. Women have accounted for 488 of the positive tests, and men 490.

According to health department data, Westminster has the most total cases in Carroll, with 566 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 435, Mount Airy with 208, Manchester with 120, Finksburg with 74, Hampstead with 66, Taneytown with 63, New Windsor with 38, Keymar with 28, Marriottsville with 19, Woodbine with 18 and Union Bridge with 17. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the hotline between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 410-876-4848, or contact their doctor. After hours, callers may leave a message or call 211. People with emergencies should continue to call 911.

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