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Number of weekly COVID-19 cases in Carroll County drops to two-month low

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County declined by about 40% over a two-week span to the lowest weekly total in two months, according to preliminary data reported by the Carroll County Health Department on Monday.

The health department reported 119 cases for the 72-hour period from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon. Of those, 50 were assigned to last week. That means Carroll saw 293 cases for the week beginning Jan. 17, a drop of more than 20% from the 372 cases reported the previous week. Carroll reported a record 503 cases the week of Jan. 3.

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It’s the first time Carroll has been below 300 total cases in a week since the last full week of November, which tracks with state data reported Monday.

Maryland health officials reported 1,686 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, the smallest number of new daily cases since Nov. 28, when 1,590 were reported. And the state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate is 6.84% as of Monday, the first time since Nov. 30 that Maryland has had a seven-day average rate below 7%.

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Carroll’s positivity rate dropped nearly 1 percentage point to 6.03% and the case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped to 25.53 after being as high as 46.81 in mid-January.

Last week, County Health Officer Ed Singer speculated that perhaps Carroll hit its post-holiday peak and numbers were now on the way down.

Amid the potentially positive data, however, the health department also reported two more COVID-19 deaths of Carroll countians: A community member listed as over 65 years old and a resident of Copper Ridge, an elder care facility in Sykesville.

That brings to 203 the number of fatalities of Carroll residents attributed to the coronavirus, 160 of them residents of congregate living facilities and 43 members of the wider community.

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According to vaccination data on the CCHD website, 1,393 Carroll countians were vaccinated last week, bringing the total number vaccinated to just over 4,000. The site also noted that Carroll received 1,400 doses for this week, although only 800 doses are expected next week. Carroll is in Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, with some in 1A still receiving vaccinations. Those age 75 or older are scheduled to start the vaccination process this week.

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. 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.

Of the 119 new cases reported Monday, 12 were from living facilities — nine at Central Maryland Correctional Facility as well as one Springfield Hospital Center resident, one Carroll Lutheran Village resident and one Sunrise of Carroll County staff member. According to the health department website, there are 15 elder care facilities and two correctional facilities with active outbreaks.

The health department reported 33 new probable cases, making a total of 1,546 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 two new hospitalizations of Carroll community members due to COVID-19, making 371 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of Friday, the latest available data, Carroll Hospital had 20 patients who are COVID-19 positive and 14 under investigation with eight ICU beds in use and a total patient census of 147 (out of a maximum capacity of approximately 170).

Of the 5,376 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 192 are younger than 10 years old; 600 are in the 10-19 range; 968 are 20-29 years old; 758 are 30-39; 749 are 40-49; 1,015 are 50-59; 643 are 60-69; 301 are 70-79; 128 are 80-89; and 22 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 2,806 of the positive tests, men for 2,569, one is unknown.

Of Carroll’s 6,485 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,219 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,653, Mount Airy with 491, Hampstead with 474, Manchester with 418, Taneytown with 394, Finksburg with 320, New Windsor with 174, Woodbine with 113, Marriottsville with 86, Union Bridge with 76, and Keymar with 55. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

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.

Baltimore Sun reporter Christine Condon contributed to this report.

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