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COVID-19 cases decrease in Carroll County Public Schools

Cases of COVID-19 within Carroll County Public Schools have decreased compared with last week’s report.

The school system’s data dashboard showed that 85 members of the CCPS community tested positive for the novel coronavirus between this week and last, 24 staff members and 61 students. That number was 112 last week and 113 the week before.

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Additionally, the Carroll County Health Department announced on Wednesday 52 new cases and another death attributed to COVID-19.

The CCPS dashboard, which is updated every Wednesday, reflects active, confirmed positive cases rather than a cumulative number of the cases that existed in prior weeks. While 85 was a significant week over week drop, in November, 37 and 40 tested positive for the virus in the weeks the dashboard was active.

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The updated numbers also show 148 people (33 staffers and 115 students) have COVID-19 symptoms. Last week, 156 were reported having symptoms.

The dashboard is only updated when CCPS is in the hybrid learning model and does not reflect those only attending school virtually.

Elementary schools with four positive cases each, the most on the list, include Eldersburg, Runnymede and Spring Garden, according to the dashboard. Linton Springs has always had at least one person with a positive case of the virus since schools have been in hybrid, while Mount Airy Elementary has yet to have one.

For the middle schools, Shiloh and Sykesville had cases for each of the five weeks of hybrid. While Crossroads and Northwest had only two during that time frame.

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The high school case numbers were a bit higher. Century had 11 cases one week and 10 cases the next. However, the number dropped to two cases this week. And South Carroll, which had nine cases in November, had three cases this week.

The numbers for those showing COVID-19 symptoms (but who have not tested positive) are higher. Like those who test positive, those included on the symptom list for this week are not in schools and required to isolate.

Carrolltowne, Piney Ridge, Runnymede, and Westminster each have nine people with symptoms on the elementary school list this week. On the middle school level, Crossroads has avoided symptomatic students and staff during the weeks of hybrid. On the high school level, Liberty had 10 people with symptoms last week, the most on the list, but is down to eight this week.

Also on Wednesday, the health department announced the death of a community member who was listed as 65 years old or older. Carroll has now seen 206 fatalities attributed to the novel coronavirus — 160 residents at congregate living facilities and 46 members of the wider community.

Of the 52 new cases of COVID-19, 11 originated in living facilities. Those consisted of seven residents and two staff members at Sunrise of Carroll County as well as one resident and one staff member at Carroll Lutheran Village. The CCHD website lists 15 active outbreaks at elder care facilities as well as an active outbreak at the Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville.

There have been 137 total cases in Carroll County this week, according to the health department, nearly identical to the 134 at the same point last week. After data reconciliation, Carroll saw 300 cases last week, the fewest cases in a week since late November and a significant decrease after 374 the previous week and a record 503 cases the week of Jan. 3.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, was 27.39, an increase of nearly two per day but still well below the 46.81 Carroll saw in mid-January. Carroll’s positivity rate, also a seven-day rolling average, dropped to 6.03%. Maryland’s positivity rate is 6.38%.

The health department reported 16 new probable cases, making a total of 1,615 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 was one new hospitalization of a Carroll community members due to COVID-19, increasing that number to 372 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of the 5,452 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 195 are younger than 10 years old; 606 are in the 10-19 range; 982 are 20-29 years old; 777 are 30-39; 752 are 40-49; 1,026 are 50-59; 655 are 60-69; 306 are 70-79; 130 are 80-89; and 22 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 2,843 of the positive tests, men for 2,608 and one is unknown.

Of Carroll’s 6,572 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,255 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,675, Mount Airy with 491, Hampstead with 481 Manchester with 421, Taneytown with 399, Finksburg with 326, New Windsor with 174, Woodbine with 115, Marriottsville with 88, Union Bridge with 78, and Keymar with 55. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

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’s health department 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.

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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