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COVID-19 case numbers, testing down in Carroll County; vaccine clinics so far unaffected by weather

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County and throughout Maryland are down this week, possibly because of the snowstorm that has forced the cancellation of testing at some sites, including on Tuesday at the Carroll County Agriculture Center in Westminster.

However, vaccine distribution being done by the Carroll County Health Department has been unaffected so far, with clinics scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

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“We did not have any clinics scheduled for the early part of this week,” said Maggie Kunz, health planner and spokesperson with the health department. “We have some second dose clinics scheduled [for Wednesday, Feb. 3]. And then a senior clinic is scheduled on Thursday in South Carroll.

“The county is really working closely with us to make sure that the parking lots and drives and the locations around where we’re holding clinics are clear.”

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Carroll’s health department updated its vaccine statistics Tuesday showing that it has administered 5,840 first doses and 100 second doses. The department received 800 doses for this week and will have 1,200 for next week after administering 1,671 first doses and 100 second doses last week.

Carroll is in phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, which means residents who are at least 75 years old and educators are eligible to be vaccinated by the health department. 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 or by calling 410-876-4848.

State health department data showed 905 new cases Tuesday, the first time since Nov. 3 that Maryland has reported fewer than 1,000 new cases in one day.

Carroll, which has seen three consecutive weeks of declining case numbers, has seen 57 total cases this week. Testing at the Ag Center was not as busy as usual on Sunday and closed Tuesday because of the snow. Carroll had seen 75 cases at this point last week, also canceling testing that Tuesday because of inclement weather.

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After data reconciliation, Carroll County’s case numbers for last week increased to 297, to 305 the prior week, to 379 the week of Jan. 10, and to 508 the week of Jan. 3, the highest weekly total Carroll has reported.

Ten in-county cases (and three out-of-county cases that are not included in Carroll’s statistics) at the Carroll County Detention Center were reported and one staff member at Sunrise of Carroll County tested positive. There was only a net increase of nine cases at congregate living facilities, however, as two previously counted cases were reclassified. The health department website lists 15 active outbreaks at elder care facilities and two at correctional facilities.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped by 2.55 percentage points to 25.78. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped slightly to 6.11%, well above the state’s current rate of 5.61%.

No deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported Tuesday. Carroll has seen 208 coronavirus fatalities, 160 residents of congregate living facilities and 48 members of the wider community.

Carroll had six new probable cases, making a total of 1,666 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.

Carroll Hospital had 17 patients who are COVID-19 positive and 11 under investigation through Jan. 30, the latest data available, with nine ICU beds in use and a total census of 155 (out of a maximum capacity of approximately 170). There were no new hospitalizations of community members due to COVID-19 and have been 381 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of the 5,674 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 208 are younger than 10 years old; 633 are in the 10-19 range; 1,014 are 20-29 years old; 805 are 30-39; 783 are 40-49; 1,070 are 50-59; 678 are 60-69; 326 are 70-79; 134 are 80-89; and 23 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 2,957 of the positive tests, and men for 2,717 while one is unknown.

Of Carroll’s 6,814 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,362 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,706, Mount Airy with 514, Hampstead with 499, Manchester with 433, Taneytown with 420, Finksburg with 339, New Windsor with 178, Woodbine with 118, Marriottsville with 92, Union Bridge with 81, and Keymar with 56. 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.

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