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With 24 more COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday, Carroll County’s weekly total surpasses previous week’s

Two-dozen cases of COVID-19 were announced Tuesday among Carroll County residents not living in congregate living facilities, one day after 23 such cases were reported.

The Carroll County Health Department announced 24 confirmed cases among locals not living in what it labels as congregate living facilities, which include nursing homes, correctional facilities and group homes. That’s the largest daily increase in cases among the wider community since June 1, when 24 new community cases were announced.

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The 47 community cases reported thus far this week already outpace the 37 community cases announced last week.

Cases have been stagnant in congregate living facilities, but another resident of one has died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. A total of 43 residents of Longview Nursing Home in Manchester have tested positive for COVID-19, and 11 have now died. Twenty-six staffers, 20 of whom live in Carroll, have also contracted the disease.

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Almost all of the positive tests reported in Carroll this month have come from outside congregate living facilities, but they continue to represent most of the county’s deaths from the disease. Of Carroll’s 136 deaths attributed to COVID-19, 122 have been from those facilities. Carroll has seen 1,277 COVID-19 cases, 626 of them from the community.

On July 16, a coalition of county leaders issued a joint statement “strongly recommending” that Carroll countians continue to wear face coverings to help mitigate the virus’ spread.

Ed Singer, Carroll County health officer, said in the statement, “This work can’t be done by one agency or group — we need our whole community to be a part of these efforts, to protect each other, and to build resilience and strength across all ages, races, and levels of socioeconomic and health status.”

The county’s positivity rate, or the rate at which tests of Carroll residents return positive,rose Tuesday about half a percentage point to 2.81% through July 20. That’s the highest it has been since July 9. The rate is reported as a seven-day rolling average based on data from the Maryland Department of Health. The statewide rate is 4.49%.

Of the 626 community members to test positive, 12 are younger than 10 years old; 38 are in the 10-19 range; 111 are 20-29 years old; 89 are 30-39; 101 are 40-49; 158 are 50-59; 79 are 60-69; 20 are 70-79; and 18 are 80-89. Women have accounted for 312 of the positive tests, and men 314. In cases where race is known, 87% of those testing positive have been white, 7% have been Black and 6% considered “Other.” Where ethnicity is known, 17% are Hispanic.

According to health department data, Westminster has the most cases in Carroll, with 415 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 351, Mount Airy with 189, Manchester with 92, Hampstead with 53, Taneytown with 47, Finksburg with 43, Keymar with 28, New Windsor with 26, Woodbine with 13, and Marriottsville and Union Bridge with nine each. Data is suppressed in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

The number of hospitalizations for the disease rose by one, to 90.

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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