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Carroll County allotment of COVID-19 vaccine doses reduced over next four weeks

While Carroll County officials have been calling for the state to give the county more COVID-19 vaccine, the county health department will receive less over the next month.

The Carroll County Health Department received at least 1,100 doses in five of the past six weeks, including a high of 1,500 the week of Jan. 10 and 1,200 last week.

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Carroll has been allotted 1,000 doses for each of the next four weeks, according to a Maryland Department of Health vaccine distribution bulletin released Friday. These numbers refer to first doses only, not second (and final) doses of the vaccine.

Ed Singer, the county’s top-ranking health official, has previously said 3,000 doses were being requested of the state and that Carroll could administer as many as 5,000 per week.

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County commissioners Ed Rothstein and Stephen Wantz were critical on Thursday of Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to allot vaccine to pharmacies and mass clinics across the state that could be going to local health departments, which they say are better able to get the vaccine into the arms of those most vulnerable, like those 75 and older.

The county health department had administered 7,654 first doses, including 1,084 of 1,200 allotted by the state this past week, according to numbers presented at Thursday morning’s Board of Commissioners meeting. Additionally, elder care facility residents are being vaccinated by pharmacies and health care facilities, and many health care workers have been vaccinated at their place of work.

In all, through Wednesday, health department data showed that 17,260 Carroll County residents had been vaccinated, which is just over 10% of the county population. That’s nearly identical to the state as a whole.

With another 18,230 Marylanders receiving their first COVID-19 vaccination, more than 818,0000 vaccine doses have been administered, meaning that one-tenth of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, state health officials reported Friday.

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Carroll County reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday — 16 community cases and one staff member at Lorien Mount Airy. An outbreak at Copper Ridge was declared closed, so there are 11 elder care facilities and two correctional facilities listed by the health department as having active outbreaks.

Through Friday, Carroll has had 138 total confirmed new cases, three less than last week at the same time. If that number remains lower through Saturday, the number of cases in the county would decrease for the fifth week in a row.

Last week’s total of 204 cases was the fewest in Carroll since the week of Nov. 1, when 156 cases were reported. Numbers began climbing in mid-November before peaking at 518 the week of Jan. 3. Since then, case numbers have been in decline, with 389 the week of Jan. 10, followed by 309 and 308.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped by more than 1 percentage point to 18.32%. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped by nearly half a percentage point to 5.62%.

The state’s positivity rate dropped to 4.87%, the first time since Nov. 8 it has been under 5%. A month ago, the figure was 8.76%. Maryland health officials also reported 1,112 new cases and 36 more deaths associated with COVID-19 on Friday. The state has reported fewer than 1,200 new cases for five straight days, the longest such streak since three-plus months between July 26 and Nov. 5.

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also had 13 new probable cases, making a total of 1,919 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.

Of the 5,971 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 223 are younger than 10 years old; 682 are in the 10-19 range; 1,058 are 20-29 years old; 848 are 30-39; 811 are 40-49; 1,123 are 50-59; 720 are 60-69; 342 are 70-79; 140 are 80-89; and 24 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 3,097 of the positive tests, men for 2,874.

Carroll has had 7,153 total COVID-19 cases. Westminster has reported the most with 2,481 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,765, Mount Airy with 574, Hampstead with 521, Manchester with 458, Taneytown with 438, Finksburg with 357, New Windsor with 185, Woodbine with 120, Marriottsville with 97, Union Bridge with 86 and Keymar with 59. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

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.

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 Nathan Ruiz contributed to this report.

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