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After a slowdown in community cases, Carroll County sees five positive tests at small living facilities

With Carroll County coming off a week in which new community cases were down significantly, the health department announced five new cases in small congregate living facilities.

According to Carroll County Health Department data, Carroll added 25 new cases from Friday afternoon through Monday afternoon — 20 of them community cases and four of them residents and one a staff member at facilities with fewer than 10 people.

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The local health department declined to name or list on its website the facility or facilities affected, citing the Maryland Department of Health policy of confidentiality regarding facilities that small.

“Identifying the home could identify the person with COVID,” Health Department spokesperson Maggie Kunz said via email. “We are working with each home to make sure they are following guidelines to reduce spread, and just following MDH guidance in terms of identifying the facilities.”

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The 25 total new cases matched the fewest number of new cases reported on a Monday since July 13. Last Monday saw 36 new cases, the previous Monday 59 and July 20 also saw 25.

Ten of the 20 community cases, that is, those who are not residents or staff members at congregate living facilities, announced Monday were from last week and the other 10 from Sunday or Monday.

So the number of new community cases reported for the week ending Aug. 8 was 60 after Carroll saw a record 109 the previous week and 97 the week before that.

No deaths from COVID-19 in Carroll County have been reported in August.

Carroll County’s positivity rate, or the rate at which tests of county residents return positive, dropped to 1.54%, the third consecutive day it has been under 2% according to MDH. The rate is reported as a seven-day rolling average based on data from MDH. Carroll has been as high as 3.7% in the past two weeks. The reported statewide rate dipped to 3.63%.

In all, Carroll has seen 1,547 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — 873 from the community and 674 from county residents who work or live in congregate living facilities. Congregate living facilities were the sites of Carroll’s sharpest spikes of cases earlier in the pandemic — as well as almost all deaths seen so far, with 125 of 140 — but the pace of new facility cases has slowed in recent weeks.

The number of residents who have recovered from the disease remained at 647 and the number of community hospitalizations from it remained it 102.

Of the 873 community members to test positive in Carroll, 16 are younger than 10 years old; 85 are in the 10-19 range; 176 are 20-29 years old; 115 are 30-39; 138 are 40-49; 192 are 50-59; 98 are 60-69; 31 are 70-79; 21 are 80-89; and one is in their 90s. Women have accounted for 429 of the positive tests, and men for 444.

According to health department data, Westminster has the most total cases in Carroll, with 524 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 417, Mount Airy with 203, Manchester with 108, Finksburg with 69, Hampstead with 65, Taneytown with 55, New Windsor with 31, Keymar with 28, Woodbine with 17, Union Bridge with 15 and Marriottsville with 13. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

For the first time since July, the COVID-19 testing site run by the health department at the Carroll County Agriculture Center will be open. The site had temporarily been moved to accommodate the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair.

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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