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Carroll County sees slight COVID-19 uptick, with 13 new cases reported Wednesday

Thirteen COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Carroll County on Wednesday, one of the largest single-day increases since early September, Carroll County Health Department data show.

Of those new cases, all among community members living outside of congregate living facilities such as nursing homes, two were confirmed Wednesday but originate from earlier weeks — one the week of Aug. 30 and the other last week, according to a health department spokesperson said. That raises last week’s case total to 44 and the week of Aug. 30 to 88.

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There have now been 24 community cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, so far this week. Last week was the third in a row to show a week-over-week decline, dropping from 53 the prior week, and 74 and 88 the weeks before that.

The health department is targeting a maximum of 84 cases over a 14-day period, for a daily rate of six cases, in order for there to be a “moderate” risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools. That rate would amount to 42 weekly cases and would include cases originating from congregate living facilities, though only five such cases have been announced in September so far.

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That target was calculated based on recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a health department spokesperson said. Currently, based on the number of cases seen in recent weeks, Carroll is at “higher” risk of transmission in schools, according to the CDC guidance.

The health department no longer considers Fairhaven in Sykesville to have an active outbreak, meaning at least 14 days have passed since the most recent active case there. The most recent cases originating from that facility were from tests taken on Sept. 15, though the results weren’t reported until Sept. 21, a health department spokesperson said.

A total of 147 people have died as a result of the coronavirus, with 130 of those deaths coming from congregate living facilities. After three weeks with none, the health department has reported three deaths among residents of such facilities since Sept. 21.

Carroll’s positivity rate, reported as a seven-day rolling average, rose again to 1.51% through Tuesday. The statewide rate that Maryland reports stands at 2.68%.

Two more probable cases in Carroll were reported Tuesday, bringing that number to 69. These “probable” cases stem from Carroll countians who tested positive with what’s called an antigen test, rather than a molecular test like those offered at state-run testing sites such as the one at the Carroll County Agriculture Center, according to health department spokesperson Maggie Kunz. The CDC considers such test results as “presumptive laboratory evidence,” Kunz said, so the health department will not consider these results as confirmed cases.

To date, 1,129 Carroll countians have been released from isolation, an increase of four since Tuesday. The total of community members who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic rose by one, to 123.

McDaniel College has reported 15 positive results among members of the campus community, out of 2,017 total tests since Aug. 14.

Of the 1,279 community members to test positive in Carroll, 24 are younger than 10 years old; 158 are in the 10-19 range; 287 are 20-29 years old; 158 are 30-39; 178 are 40-49; 257 are 50-59; 138 are 60-69; 43 are 70-79; 34 are 80-89; and two are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 660 of the positive tests, and men 619.

According to health department data, Carroll has seen 1,961 total cases countywide. Westminster has the most, with 658 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 515, Mount Airy with 243, Manchester with 140, Hampstead with 92, Finksburg with 90, Taneytown with 71, New Windsor with 42, Marriottsville with 33, Keymar with 28, Woodbine with 23 and Union Bridge with 18. 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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