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Sykesville nursing facility sees a 17th resident die after contracting COVID-19

An additional resident of a Sykesville nursing facility has died of COVID-19, according to the Carroll County Health Department, and the county has seen nine new cases since Tuesday.

The resident, of Birch Manor Healthcare Center, is the 17th who has died after contracting the disease there. A total of 64 residents of that facility have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, as did five staffers, four of whom live in Carroll.

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Of the nine new cases, eight were from the wide community outside of congregate living facilities such as nursing homes. The ninth was a resident of Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville, bringing that facility’s total to seven residents. Seventeen staffers have also contracted the disease, five of whom live in Carroll.

The county has now reported a total of 1,137 confirmed cases, 644 of which have been been in congregate living facilities. There have been 128 deaths in Carroll, 114 from those living facilities.

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Congregate living facilities that house multiple residents are particularly vulnerable to localized outbreaks — especially those that house the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions.

Carroll’s positivity rate, or the rate in which tests of Carroll residents return positive is 3.20% as of Tuesday, a slight decline since 3.45% on Monday. That rate, which is reported as a seven-day rolling average based on data from the Maryland Department of Health, has ranged from 1.40% to 4.31% in the second half of June.

Maryland’s average positivity rate over the past seven days is 4.72%, according to state officials.

Despite a recent decline in new cases, county Health Officer Ed Singer has cautioned that a spike could be possible in the coming weeks, and it’s still important for locals to observe social distancing guidelines.

The health department considers 310 people to be recovered from the disease, the same level seen June 19. The number of total hospitalizations for the disease of community members remained at 76, which has been unchanged since June 23.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call that 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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