Carroll County is finishing with the first phase of vaccinations for COVID-19, and the health department’s top officer said the next step is set to begin next week.
Health Officer Ed Singer spoke during Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting and said Phase 1A, which consists of health-care providers, correctional facility staff, and front-line judiciary staff, should be wrapping up in the next few days.
Then, Phase 1B can begin for educators (although a few of them have already been vaccinated) and people in child care, those in living facilities and other group homes, and people aged 75 and over.
“It’s going to take several weeks to get to everybody that wants to be vaccinated,” Singer said. “But, the good news is, we’re getting started.”
Wednesday’s data from the Carroll County Health Department reported 45 new COVID-19 cases and one fatality, bringing this week’s case total to 185.
The death was an over-65 female member of the community, according to the health department, which makes 38 community fatalities in Carroll attributed to COVID-19. There were 44 new community cases and one case from a congregate living facility, a resident of Fairhaven in Sykesville, reported Wednesday.
Based on updated data processed through Wednesday, Carroll saw a record 494 new cases of COVID-19 last week after 349 the previous week and 356 the week before that. The previous highest weekly total had been set the week of Dec. 13, when the health department reported 436 total cases.
The health department website lists 16 active outbreaks at congregate living facilities and two at correctional facilities. Of the 194 COVID-19 fatalities within Carroll County since the beginning of the pandemic, 156 have come from living facilities, according to the health department.
The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped to 47.07. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, increased slightly to 8.05% but remains below the state’s current rate of 8.53%.
Additionally, there were 45 new probable cases, making a total of 1,140 probables. These are patients who test positive using a rapid antigen test, rather than a molecular test like those offered at state-run testing sites. The health department doesn’t consider these results to be confirmed cases.
There were 13 new hospitalizations of community members due to COVID-19, and there have been 337 hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic.
Carroll Hospital had 48 patients who are COVID-19 positive and 15 under investigation as of Jan. 12, with 12 ICU beds in use and a total census of 169 (out of a maximum capacity of approximately 170).
Of the 4,868 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 170 are younger than 10 years old; 534 are in the 10-19 range; 889 are 20-29 years old; 677 are 30-39; 689 are 40-49; 934 are 50-59; 566 are 60-69; 271 are 70-79; 120 are 80-89; and 18 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 2,542 of the positive tests, and men for 2,326.
Of Carroll’s 5,922 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,010 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,544, Mount Airy with 475, Hampstead with 417, Manchester with 383, Taneytown with 340, Finksburg with 295, New Windsor with 147, Woodbine with 100, Marriottsville with 84, Union Bridge with 63, and Keymar with 52. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.
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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.