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Third case of coronavirus announced in Carroll County; health department hopes to ramp up testing

The third person found with the coronavirus in Carroll County is a man in his 20s who is recovering at home, according to the county health department.

The case is not associated with foreign travel, and the man had no known contact with the other cases, Maggie Kunz, public information officer for the county health department, said Thursday morning.

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Kunz said officials found out about the third case late Wednesday night.

The second Carroll countian with the coronavirus, also known by the disease it causes, COVID-19, is a woman in her 30s with mild symptoms, the Carroll County Health Department announced Tuesday morning. She is in good condition and is recovering at home.

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The first Carroll case, a man in his 40s, was announced Friday afternoon. He is related to the woman who contracted the disease, according to the county health department.

The health department is not releasing where in the county the people with COVID-19 have traveled, citing a need to protect their identities.

The health department is investigating these cases with the help of the Maryland Department of Health. Communicable disease nurses will identify people who had contact with the patients and advise them of any actions to take. The health department has pledged to share information if any risk to the public is identified.

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.

Local public health and hospital officials are working on plans to expand testing capability in Carroll County, according to a Thursday news release from the health department that lists guidelines for how and when to call a health care provider and ask about testing.

The health department plans to inform the public when testing is expanded through its website at https://cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19/ and social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Testing is limited at this time because COVID-19 is a new infection, and laboratories are working rapidly to increase availability,” the health department wrote.

Testing is only available to those who have been referred by a heath care provider. Those who show worsening or severe symptoms — such as trouble breathing — should contact their medical provider. Those who are 65 or older, have other medical issues, are pregnant, or are immunocompromised should do so even with mild symptoms.

At least 107 people have confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday morning, though the third Carroll case was not included in that total. The first Marylander to die from the disease was a Prince George’s County man in his 60s, Hogan announced Wednesday night.

Hogan has also ordered nonessential businesses such as bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms to close, and on Thursday he reduced a limit on mass gatherings to 10 people after previously ordering a limit of 50 people.

As of Thursday afternoon, the coronavirus had resulted in at least 157 deaths in the United States out of more than 11,200 people who have tested positive for the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization deemed the coronavirus a pandemic March 11.

Updates on the number of Maryland cases and other important information can be found on the health department’s COVID-19 webpage at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19/.

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