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Outbreak at Taneytown elder care facility accounts for 12 of Carroll County’s 66 new COVID-19 cases

A new outbreak at an elder care facility in Taneytown accounted for 12 of the 66 cases of COVID-19 reported by the Carroll County Health Department on Thursday.

Eleven residents and one staff member at Country Companions Assisted Living have tested positive as congregate living facilities saw 19 new cases after having seen only four this week before Thursday. Six of the cases are from facilities so small that the health department does not identity them out of individual privacy concerns, and the remaining case is from the Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville.

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According to the health department website, there are 14 elder care facilities and two correctional facilities with active outbreaks. Carroll has seen 1,088 COVID-19 cases and 159 deaths at congregate living facilities.

The remaining 44 cases were among members of the wider community.

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Carroll has seen 200 total cases this week. At the same point last week, Carroll had seen 246 cases. Based on revised health department numbers, Carroll finished last week with 370 cases, down significantly from the previous week, when a record 502 cases were reported. The county had 353 cases in the final week of December and 362 the week before that.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped to 28.75 after being as high as 46.81 late last week. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, was unchanged at 6.9% and stayed below the state’s current rate of 7.66%.

The health department reported 32 new probable cases, making a total of 1,491 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 three new hospitalizations of community members due to COVID-19, making 368 since the beginning of the pandemic. Carroll Hospital had 26 patients who are COVID-19 positive and nine under investigation as of Tuesday, the most recent data released, with nine ICU beds in use and a total patient census of 144 (out of a maximum capacity of approximately 170).

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Of the 5,240 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 185 are younger than 10 years old; 582 are in the 10-19 range; 951 are 20-29 years old; 727 are 30-39; 727 are 40-49; 1,004 are 50-59; 616 are 60-69; 295 are 70-79; 128 are 80-89; 22 are in their 90s; one is over 100; and two were not specified as of Thursday evening. Women have accounted for 2,746 of the positive tests, and men for 2,494.

Of Carroll’s 6,328 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,164 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,610, Mount Airy with 489, Hampstead with 455, Manchester with 406, Taneytown with 384, Finksburg with 314, New Windsor with 177, Woodbine with 111, Marriottsville with 85 Union Bridge with 74 and Keymar with 54. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

The health department has vaccinated approximately 3,000 people since Dec. 30.

The health department is asking residents who want to receive the vaccine to complete interest forms for their phase of vaccination. These forms can be found online at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-interest-forms. Individuals on these lists will receive updates by email or phone, for those who do not have email, when more information on registration is available.

Information about vaccine priorities continues to be refined at state and local levels. More information on the state phases can be found at covidlink.maryland.gov/content/vaccine. More information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Carroll County can be found on the health department’s page at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-vaccination.

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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