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Number of new COVID-19 cases in Carroll County drops for seventh week in a row

New cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County declined for the seventh week in a row, according to data reported by the health department Monday afternoon.

Preliminarily, 100 total cases were reported last week by the Carroll Health Department. The county hasn’t seen a weekly total below 100 since the week of Oct. 18, and last week’s total is less than one-fifth of what was reported for the first week of 2021 at the peak of the post-holiday spike.

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Numbers can change. A week ago, the health department initially reported 100 cases, but that number grew to 104 upon further examination of data and reclassification of cases. The week before that, Carroll saw 167 new cases. Prior to that, weekly totals were 206, 308, 313 and 389 after more than 500 the week of Jan. 3.

Carroll’s seven-day testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that return positive results, dipped by one-third of a percentage point to 2.79, the lowest it has been since Oct. 27.

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Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, which is reported as an average over the past seven days, dropped to 8.57. That number peaked at 47.58 on Jan. 11.

In addition to reporting 31 new cases Monday, 12 of which count toward this week’s total, the health department announced the death of a community member over 65 years old. There have been 225 fatalities attributed to COVID-19, 170 of them residents of congregate living facilities and 55 of them members of the wider community. Of the 225 who have died, 200 have been at least 65 years old.

Vaccinations

Maryland will allocate nearly 50,000 doses of the newly authorized, single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week to vaccine providers, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday. It was not immediately clear whether Carroll County would receive any doses of the new vaccine.

According to the latest available numbers, the Carroll County Health Department had administered 1,308 first doses and 736 second (and final) doses last week, bringing its total to 9,542 first doses and 4,023 second doses. Counting those, the ones administered by Carroll Hospital and other health care facilities, and doses administered by CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, health department data estimates 23,404 Carroll countians have been vaccinated.

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Carroll remains 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 at health department clinics. Also part of 1B are those essential for “continuity of government.” 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 COVID-19 vaccinations in Carroll County can be found on the health department’s page at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-vaccination.

Around the state

Maryland reported 603 new infections Monday morning, bringing the total count of confirmed infections in the state to 382,702. Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of Maryland’s first confirmed cases. After reporting more than 75,000 cases in both December and January, the state reported about 27,000 infections from Feb. 1 to Monday.

Another 10 Marylanders have died of the coronavirus or its effects, the state reported. In all, 7,697 residents with confirmed COVID-19 infections have died.

Community cases

Carroll has reported 6,246 cases of community members who have tested positive, 3,223 women and 3,023 men. By age range:

0-9: 234

10-19: 718

20-29: 1,111

30-39: 875

40-49: 845

50-59: 1,177

60-69: 748

70-79: 368

80-89: 146

90-99: 24

Total cases

Carroll has reported 7,447 total COVID-19 cases. The numbers by ZIP code:

21784 (Eldersburg/Sykesville): 1,843

21157 (Westminster): 1,673

21158 (Westminster): 906

21771 (Mount Airy): 618

21074 (Hampstead): 531

21102 (Manchester): 480

21787 (Taneytown): 449

21048 (Finksburg): 373

21776 (New Windsor): 188

21797 (Woodbine): 122

21104 (Marriottsville): 100

21791 (Union Bridge): 90

21757 (Keymar): 62

Probable cases

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also had 31 new probable cases, making a total of 2,155 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.

Hospitalizations

The county health department reported three new hospitalizations of residents for COVID-19. The number of community members who have been hospitalized for the virus is up to 429, according to the health department. Through Tuesday, Feb. 23 according to Carroll Hospital, 15 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 and five patients were under investigation for the virus. Additionally, eight critical care unit beds were in use and the total patient census was 145 (out of an approximate capacity of 170).

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 Hallie Miller and Nathan Ruiz contributed to this article.

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