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No COVID-19 deaths announced in Carroll County Thursday, halting recent streak

The Carroll County Health Department announced 12 new cases of COVID-19 among its residents Thursday but no additional deaths, after reporting several consecutive days in which multiple deaths were attributed to the disease.

The dozen confirmed cases were all among members of the Carroll community outside of what the county describes as congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes.

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On Wednesday, the health department announced six new deaths among Carroll residents, nine deaths were announced Tuesday and three were announced Monday. Of those, all but two were among residents of long-term care facilities.

The county’s death toll crossed 100 on Tuesday, when it hit 106. The current total is 112.

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Maggie Kunz, health department spokesperson, said Thursday, “the facility cases are coming in waves as mandatory testing is completed, but most facilities have done extensive testing and have been following protocols and controlling the spread of the virus, so we hope to see positive tests taper there.”

Kunz continued, “Weekly positive test numbers may be a better gauge of trends, but even if we are trending down for now, we may start to trend back up once we are a couple of weeks out from increased activity due to reopening. This is why our contact tracing efforts are important, to try to slow the spread from each positive case.”

The health department considers 276 people to be recovered from the disease — up by 19 since Wednesday. The number of hospitalizations for the disease remained at 70 for the third consecutive day.

Of the 979 cases confirmed in the county, 544 have been in congregate living facilities. 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. As of Thursday, the county has confirmed 435 community cases — those who have tested positive and do not live or work in a congregate living facility. Eight are younger than 10 years old; 22 are in the 10-19 range; 61 are 20-29 years old; 64 are 30-39; 71 are 40-49; 122 are 50-59; 60 are 60-69; 14 are 70-79; and 13 are 80-89. Of the 435 community cases, 217 are women and 218 are men.

According to health department data, Westminster has the most cases in Carroll, with 345 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 233, Mount Airy with 164, Manchester with 69, Hampstead with 35, Taneytown with 34, Keymar and Finksburg with 28 each, and New Windsor with 21. Data is suppressed in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the Carroll County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline, which is available 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. seven days a week 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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