Friday marked the end of one full year, 365 days, since officials announced the first case of COVID-19 in Carroll County on March 13, 2020.
The 37 cases reported Friday afternoon by the health department brought the number of Carroll residents who came down with COVID-19 over the past year to 7,683. Nearly 3,000 more are probable cases, having tested positive on a rapid test.
Older residents, particularly those at congregate living facilities, were disproportionately affected during the first few months of the pandemic, with case numbers outpacing those in the community. While that has changed and Carroll has reported more than five times more community cases than facility cases over the past year, those over 65, in general, continue to fare worse after contracting the virus.
With no fatalities Friday, the number of Carroll County deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus remained at 226. Of those, 201 have been among those 65 or older, 23 have been those 45-64 and two 18-44. There have been 170 deaths among residents of congregate living facilities and 56 among the wider community.
According to the health department, 618 Carroll residents have been hospitalized for COVID-19, with 356 of them 65 or over, 177 aged 45-64, 77 aged 18-44 and eight under 18.
Carroll’s number of new cases this week rose to 126, already higher than last week marking two consecutive weeks of case increases following seven consecutive declines in weekly totals.
Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, which is reported as an average over the past seven days, has gone up each day this week and now stands at 13.99 after dropping as low as 7.46 last week. It is the highest it has been since Feb. 14, though it is still well off the case rate peak of 47.58 on Jan. 11.
Carroll’s seven-day testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that return positive results, rose to 4.12%. It’s the first time since Feb. 16 that number has been over 4%. Still, it is less than half of the 8.34% reached on Jan. 8.
The Carroll County Health Department is finishing vaccinating those in Phase 1B, made up largely of people over 75 years old, while the state has been in Phase 1C, which includes those aged 65-74, for more than a month. The health department continues to ask any Carroll countians over age 75 interested in getting vaccinated against COVID-19 to call 410-876-4848.
Around the state
With the 990 new cases reported Friday morning, Maryland’s total count of confirmed infections is 391,480. The state last reported 1,000 or more cases Feb. 19, the only day in which it has surpassed that mark since Valentine’s Day. Another 16 Marylanders have died of the coronavirus or its effects, the state reported. In all, 7,848 residents with confirmed infections of COVID-19 have died.
There are 765 patients in Maryland’s hospitals facing the effects of COVID-19. With 195 of those cases requiring intensive care, the state is reporting fewer than 200 for the first time since Nov. 11.
Carroll has reported 6,512 cases of community members who have tested positive, 3,349 women and 3,163 men. By age range:
Carroll has reported 7,720 total COVID-19 cases. The numbers by ZIP code:
21784 (Eldersburg/Sykesville): 1,913
21157 (Westminster): 1,737
21158 (Westminster): 934
21771 (Mount Airy): 632
21074 (Hampstead): 549
21102 (Manchester): 495
21787 (Taneytown): 456
21048 (Finksburg): 402
21776 (New Windsor): 193
21797 (Woodbine): 128
21104 (Marriottsville): 110
21791 (Union Bridge): 93
21757 (Keymar): 62
In addition to the confirmed cases Wednesday, Carroll also had six new probable cases, making a total of 2,299 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.
The county health department reported no new hospitalizations for COVID-19 and the number of community members who have been hospitalized for the virus remained at 436.
Through Thursday, according to Carroll Hospital, four patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 — down from seven the previous week and 15 from the week before that — and four patients were under investigation for the virus. Additionally, five critical care unit beds were in use and the total patient census rose to 170, out of an approximate capacity of 170, however.
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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Baltimore Sun reporter Nathan Ruiz contributed to this article.