For first time, Carroll County breaks down COVID-19 data by race and ethnicity, posts positivity rate

For the first time June 18, the Carroll County Health Department reported a breakdown of local coronavirus cases by race and ethnicity, along with a couple of other new measures.

Among Carroll County residents not living in congregate living facilities who have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, 87% are white, 7% are black and 6% are classified as “other.”


The rate of infection for black Carroll countians is almost double the U.S. Census’ countywide percentage of black residents in the county: 3.8%. The share of county residents who are white is 91.9%.

Broken down by ethnicity, 17% of positive cases are among Hispanic residents, whereas 83% are non-Hispanic. According to the U.S. Census data from July 1, 2019, the most recent data available, 3.7% of Carroll countians are Hispanic or Latino.


When asked why the race and ethnicity data did not incorporate cases in congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes, spokesperson Maggie Kunz said the health department would post race and ethnicity data for the facility cases early next week.

“The ‘other’ categories are too small to report separately, but include Asian, multiracial, and other races,” she said.

Also for the first time Thursday, the county reported Carroll’s positivity rate, or the rate in which tests of Carroll residents return positive. That rate was at 2.35% Tuesday and 2.03% Wednesday. The health department notes that this is a seven-day rolling average based on data from the Maryland Department of Health.

Maryland’s average positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.43%, according to state officials.

And the health department began Thursday to report weekly community totals for positive cases.

The week beginning June 7 saw 14 new cases confirmed countywide, the lowest weekly level since the week beginning March 22, when there were 11. The weekly peak came two weeks after that, when 60 cases were confirmed the week beginning April 5.

A fifth death among residents at one congregate living facility, Brinton Woods Health and Rehab Center at Winfield, was reported Thursday. That facility has seen a total of 31 residents and five staffers, four of whom do not live in Carroll, test positive.

The health department announced no other deaths or new cases Thursday, though a spokesperson noted that one resident who died of the disease was reclassified from a facility resident to a community resident. That lowered the resident totals at Fairhaven in Sykesville to 46 cases and 14 deaths.


The county has had a total to 1,028 confirmed cases, 566 of which have been seen in congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes. Carroll has seen 121 deaths, 107 from the living facilities.

Despite a recent decline in new cases, county health officer Ed Singer cautioned the Board of County Commissioners last week that a spike could be possible in the coming weeks, and it’s still important for locals to observe social distancing guidelines.

Facilities that house multiple residents are particularly vulnerable to localized outbreaks — especially those that house the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions. But the virus threatens people of any age.

The county has confirmed 462 cases among community members outside of congregate living facilities. Eight are younger than 10 years old; 23 are in the 10-19 range; 66 are 20-29 years old; 67 are 30-39; 74 are 40-49; 130 are 50-59; 64 are 60-69; 16 are 70-79; and 14 are 80-89. Of the community cases, 231 are women and 231 are men.

The health department considers 308 people to be recovered from the disease, up by three since Wednesday. The number of total hospitalizations for the disease of community members increased by one to 74.

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.