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COVID cases at Carroll Hospital double in past week; county positivity rate jumps above 5%

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Carroll Hospital doubled over the past week, and Carroll’s positivity rate is higher than it has been since before Valentine’s Day.

On Tuesday, Carroll Hospital had 22 patients who are positive for COVID-19, according to the Carroll County Health Department. The previous Tuesday that number had been 11 and as recently as March 9 it had been just three.

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Additionally, four Carroll Hospital patients were under investigation for COVID-19. Nine critical care unit beds were in use, and the total patient census was 154 out of an approximate capacity of 170.

Three members of the community were reported hospitalized on Friday, bringing the total number of community members hospitalized since the start of the pandemic to 449. Nearly 200 residents or staff members of congregate living facilities have been hospitalized as well.

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Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, increased by more than 1 percentage point to 5.41%, the highest it has been since Feb. 12. The rate had been below 5% since Feb. 14 and dipped to 2.45% on March 4.

New cases

The Carroll County Health Department reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. All 47 new cases were members of the community. There have been no cases among staff or residents of Carroll congregate living facilities since two were reported the week of March 7.

After data was updated and cases assigned to the appropriate reporting dates, 48 new cases have been reported this week. Last week, 149 were reported. At this point, last week’s total remains lower than the 152 reported the previous week. The weekly totals have gone up since 104 cases were reported the week of Feb. 21, which marked the seventh consecutive weekly decline after Carroll had exceeded 500 cases the first week of January.

Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, rose to 13.82. This rate peaked at 47.58 on Jan. 11 and has been below 15 since Feb. 13.

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No fatalities were reported Tuesday. The health department has reported two deaths attributed to the coronavirus this month and lists 227 total COVID-19 deaths among Carroll countians, including 57 members of the community and 170 residents of congregate living facilities.

Vaccine

The Carroll County Health Department is currently vaccinating people in Phase 1B and those ages 65 or older in 1C who have expressed interest. The health department will offer appointments to people ages 60 to 64 (2A) and essential workers in 1C as vaccine supply and slots at clinics allow, and plans are in place to soon begin offering appointments to people under 60 with health conditions (2B).

Eligible county residents who have not yet completed the health department’s interest form should do so at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-interest-forms or call 410-876-4848 for assistance.

The state of Maryland is open to people in phases 1A, 1B, 1C and 2A. Go to coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine#locator or call 1-855-MD-GOVAX for information on vaccination options at pharmacies, larger clinics and mass vaccination sites. Several pharmacies in Carroll County are now offering vaccines.

Around the state

More than 8,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Maryland, health officials reported Tuesday, the same day the state eclipsed 800,000 people fully vaccinated against the virus.

Maryland health officials reported 722 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, the second consecutive day the state added less than 1,000 cases following four days of eclipsing 1,000. The state’s pandemic case count now stands 401,427.

About 801,385 people have been fully vaccinated in Maryland, about 13% of the state’s more than 6 million residents. More than 1.4 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in the state, which has seen an average of 43,882 immunizations administered daily over the past week.

Community cases

Carroll has reported 6,738 cases of community members who have tested positive, 3,454 women and 3,284 men. By age group:

0-9: 257

10-19: 796

20-29: 1,205

30-39: 937

40-49: 909

50-59: 1,266

60-69: 800

70-79: 391

80-89: 153

90-99: 24

Total cases

Carroll has reported 7,946 total COVID-19 cases. By ZIP code:

21784 (Eldersburg/Sykesville): 1,972

21157 (Westminster): 1,782

21158 (Westminster): 966

21771 (Mount Airy): 646

21074 (Hampstead): 572

21102 (Manchester): 505

21787 (Taneytown): 463

21048 (Finksburg): 412

21776 (New Windsor): 206

21797 (Woodbine): 136

21104 (Marriottsville): 114

21791 (Union Bridge): 97

21757 (Keymar): 63

Probable cases

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also had 65 new probable cases, making a total of 2,513 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.

Baltimore Sun reporter Alex Mann contributed to this article.

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