The Carroll County Health Department announced 36 positive COVID-19 tests among community members over the weekend, as well as the first death of a community member since mid-June, and confirmed that last week produced the most new community cases since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, the COVID-19 testing site run by the health department will be closed on Tuesday due to concerns about heavy rain and wind from Tropical Storm Isaias. The temporarily relocated site at Friendship Valley Elementary School is outdoors and uses tents.
Of the 36 new cases, 18 of them were reported Friday or Saturday, contributing to the 109 community cases for the week beginning July 27. That broke the record of 97 set the previous week. No other week has seen more than 60.
By comparison, the 109 community cases were the same number Carroll County saw during the five-week stretch from Monday, May 31 through Saturday, July 4.
However, in what could portend a lower-volume week, the 36 new community cases represented a significant decrease over the 59 the health department reported last Monday, July 27.
Additionally, Carroll’s positivity rate dipped by nearly half a percentage point to 3.06%. It has not been lower than that since July 21. The rate is reported as a seven-day rolling average based on data from the Maryland Department of Health. The statewide rate is 4.36%. As a reference, the World Health Organization recommends that there be a positivity rate below 5% for two weeks before governments take steps to reopen.
The number of residents who have recovered from the disease rose by 18 to 608, and the number of hospitalizations for the disease rose by two, to 100.
Carroll County Breaking News
In total, Carroll has seen 1,485 total cases, including 821 among members of the community. There have been 140 deaths, 15 in the community.
Of the community members to test positive in Carroll, 16 are younger than 10 years old; 80 are in the 10-19 range; 163 are 20-29 years old; 110 are 30-39; 129 are 40-49; 180 are 50-59; 94 are 60-69; 29 are 70-79; 19 are 80-89 and one is over 90. Women have accounted for 403 of the positive tests, and men 418.
Community cases are all of those not occurring in what the county defines as congregate living facilities, which include nursing homes and correctional facilities. As for the facilities, one new case was announced at Fairhaven, which is one of eight facilities the county considers to have active outbreaks, and one at Carroll Lutheran Village, although that was an old case just reported and does not mean CLV is the site of an active outbreak.
Additionally, one Birch Manor staff member case was moved to an out-of-county staff case (subtracting one facility case) upon further investigation. And one Brinton Woods resident case and fatality has been removed because the name was transposed and the case was counted twice in the department’s database.
According to health department data, Westminster has the most cases in Carroll, with 504 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 404, Mount Airy with 199, Manchester with 104, Finksburg with 62, Hampstead with 61, Taneytown with 53, Keymar with 28, New Windsor with 27, Woodbine with 16, Marriottsville with 13 and Union Bridge with 12. Data is suppressed in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.
Because of Tuesday’s test site closure, testing will instead be held on Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, as well as Thursday, Aug. 6 during the same time period, at Friendship Valley, 1100 Gist Road, Westminster. That will be the last test at that site. Testing is scheduled to return to the original site at the Carroll County Agricultural Center on Aug. 11.
The health department also said it has transitioned to a new laboratory to process tests, so they expect to see an improved turn around time for test results starting this week. An appointment is needed for testing. Visit the Health Department’s testing page and complete a testing form at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-testing-in-carroll-county.