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Nearly 400 people tested at Carroll Hospital, fifth coronavirus case confirmed in Carroll County

Carroll Hospital has tested nearly 400 people for the coronavirus and, so far, five people from Carroll County, ranging in age from 20s to 60s have tested positive.

Testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, began at the hospital emergency department in February, according to Selena Mowery, hospital spokesperson. Mowery said Monday that 388 samples had been sent to Lab Corps in New York, 262 of which were obtained via drive-through testing, which began March 12.

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The hospital is sending tests to New York because labs closer to home are full, according to Mowery.

“We can’t send tests to a lab in Baltimore because those labs cannot handle additional capacity,” she said. So Carroll Hospital chose Lab Corps, with which it already had a partnership, Mowery said.

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However, the the hospital is not the only facility in Carroll County taking samples.

Maggie Kunz, public information officer for Carroll County Health Department, said private medical providers are offering tests, too. The 388 are merely tests done at Carroll Hospital.

“Probably the [total] number is a little bit higher," Kunz said.

Initially, labs were only required to report positive tests to the health department, Kunz said, until the Maryland Secretary of Health issued a new order Monday requiring all COVID-19 tests, including negative results, to be reported to the Maryland Department of Health.

“I think we will see soon a big change in how tests are being offered," Kunz said.

Local public health and hospital officials have been seeking ways to expand testing capability in Carroll County. Gov. Larry Hogan said March 13 the federal government has been unable to keep up with testing.

The number of coronavirus cases in Carroll County increased by two over the weekend as the fourth and fifth cases were announced by the county health department Monday morning.

The fourth person found with the coronavirus is a woman in her 60s who is recovering at home, according to Kunz.

The woman did not have any known contact with someone who has COVID-19, and this case is not associated with foreign travel, Kunz said. The health department learned of the fourth case late Sunday evening.

The fifth case is a woman in her 40s who is also recovering at home, according to Kunz. The case is not associated with travel and the woman had no known contact with an infected person, Kunz said.

A man in his 40s, a woman in her 30s, and a man in his 20s were the first, second, and third cases announced in Carroll. The man in his 40s is related to the woman in her 30s.

“They’re all still at home and doing well," Kunz said at about 10 a.m. Monday.

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Testing for COVID-19 is moving along in Carroll, according to Kunz, though she knows there is some lag in getting supplies for testing kits nationwide.

The Carroll County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline, 410-876-4848, is seeing a steady number of calls. Over the weekend, they received about 40 calls each day and typically receive twice that on weekdays, Kunz said. A small number of people who called this weekend were recommended for testing, though she did not know how many.

The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, callers may leave a message or call 211. People with emergencies should continue to call 911. Anyone who is sick should contact their doctor.

At least 288 people have confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, Hogan announced Monday morning. Three Marylanders have died from the disease, he said.

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