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Six COVID-19 deaths reported in Carroll County; weekly case number lowest since first week of November

Six fatalities attributed to COVID-19 were announced Monday by the Carroll County Health Department, which also reported the fewest weekly cases in the county since the first week of November.

Five of the deceased were residents of elder care facilities in Carroll; the sixth was an over-65 member of the wider community.

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Two of those who died had been living at Brinton Woods Health and Rehabilitation Center at Winfield; one at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster, one at Copper Ridge in Sykesville and one at Sun Valley at the Meadows in Westminster. One of the Brinton Woods cases was a delayed report, but the other deaths all occurred from Jan. 29 through Feb. 5. The six fatalities brings to 215 the number of Carroll countians who have died of COVID-19. Of those, 166 resided in congregate living facilities.

The health department also reported 112 new coronavirus cases over the 72 hours since Friday afternoon. Of those, 41 were classified to this week, the rest to previous weeks.

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Last week’s preliminary total of 206 cases represents the fewest in Carroll since the week of Nov. 1, when 156 cases were reported. Numbers began climbing in mid-November into the mid-200s, the 300s and the 400s before peaking at a record 522 the week of Jan. 3. Since then case numbers have been in decline with 394 the week of Jan. 10 and 311 each of the following two weeks.

The health department’s testing site at the Carroll County Agriculture Center was closed Sunday due to inclement weather, the third time in less than two weeks that snow had forced the cancellation of testing, a possible contributing factor to the recent lower numbers of positive tests.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped by 2 percentage points to 16.37%, roughly one-third of its peak about a month ago. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, was essentially unchanged at 6.22%.

Maryland health officials reported 903 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, and 23 more deaths caused by the disease. That’s the fewest cases reported in one day since early November. Last week, after heavy snowfall shuttered some testing sites, new case totals sank to 905, but rose above 1,500 two days later.

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Regarding vaccinations, Maryland residents who qualify for COVID-19 immunizations should register multiple times, and with multiple providers, for vaccination appointments while supply remains limited, Dennis R. Schrader, the state’s acting health secretary said Monday during a virtual Maryland senate committee meeting.

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. Some 15,000 county residents have received at least their first dose.

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 112 cases reported Monday, 10 were from congregate living facilities — six residents of Sun Valley at Ridge Overlook, one Westminster Healthcare resident, one Country Companions Assisted Living resident, one Carroll Lutheran Village staff member and a staffer at facility so small the health department does not identify it out of privacy concerns. The health department lists 13 elder care facilities and two correctional facilities in Carroll as sites of active outbreaks.

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also had 35 new probable cases, making a total of 1,837 probables since the beginning of the pandemic. 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.

Fifteen community members were hospitalized, bringing to 395 the number of community members who’ve been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Of the 5,905 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 220 are younger than 10 years old; 665 are in the 10-19 range; 1,052 are 20-29 years old; 842 are 30-39; 805 are 40-49; 1,105 are 50-59; 712 are 60-69; 338 are 70-79; 142 are 80-89; and 24 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 3,073 of the positive tests, men for 2,830 and information was not available in two cases.

Of Carroll’s 7,072 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,456 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,752, Mount Airy with 565, Hampstead with 510, Manchester with 453, Taneytown with 436, Finksburg with 351, New Windsor with 181, Woodbine with 119, Marriottsville with 95, Union Bridge with 83 and Keymar with 59. 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 reporters Christine Condon and Hallie Miller contributed to this article.

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