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Carroll County’s weekly number of COVID-19 cases drops by 18%; another death reported, hospitalizations rise

New cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County dropped by 18% last week, according to health department data, the second consecutive weekly dip.

On Monday afternoon, the Carroll County Health Department reported 70 new cases for the previous 72 hours and announced that the county finished the week of April 11 with 186 new cases. That was down from 227 the week before, which dropped slightly from 229 the previous week. Before that, the last time the county saw a weekly drop was the week of Feb. 21, the final of seven consecutive weeks of declining numbers following the post-holiday peak.

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Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, dropped to 16.11, the lowest it has been since March 26. The rate dipped as low as 7.46 in early March after peaking at 47.58 on Jan. 11.

Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, rose slightly to 5.04 after dropping, for the first time since March 22, below the 5% rate — the threshold the World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions stay below before lifting restrictions.

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In addition, the health department reported another Carroll County resident has died of COVID-19.

The fatality was an over-65 member of the community who died last week. That followed the two deaths reported Thursday and one Friday, making four fatalities last week, which matched the highest number of Carroll County coronavirus weekly deaths since the week of Jan. 31.

The health department reported two deaths for the three-week period beginning Feb. 28, but there have been 12 deaths in the month since. Throughout the pandemic, 239 county residents have died from COVID-19 — 67 community members and 172 congregate living facility residents. Of those, 213 have been 65 and older, 24 were 45-64 and two were 18-44.

As of Sunday, Carroll Hospital reported 40 patients being treated for COVID-19. Additionally, one other patient was under investigation for the virus, nine critical care unit beds were in use and the hospital had a total patient census of 163 out of an approximate capacity of 170.

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The 40 coronavirus hospitalizations marked an increase from 36 in the middle of last week and 33 the week before. There had been 42 patients hospitalized during the peak of the post-holiday surge, but that number steadily decreased until Carroll Hospital had only three COVID-positive patients on March 9.

Around the state

Maryland reported 631 new coronavirus cases Monday, the lowest daily total so far this month. Historically, though, fewer new cases are reported Mondays because fewer COVID-19 tests are conducted over weekends. Eleven more people were reported dead from the virus Monday, health officials

Monday, Maryland health officials reported 45,868 newly administered doses of the coronavirus vaccines. In total, 26.8% of Maryland’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 41.3% has received at least one dose.

The state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate has been above 5% since late March, but it ebbed slightly Monday, from 5.61% to 5.39%.

Vaccine

The state of Maryland is in Phase 3 of vaccine eligibility, meaning anyone 16 and over can sign up and receive the vaccine. For Carroll County Health Department clinics, all people age 18 and over who live or work in Carroll County are eligible. Registration is available at cchd.maryland.gov.

No appointments are currently available due to a decrease in vaccine allocation and suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration, but according to the health department website, they hope to share new appointment links on Thursday, April 22 or Thursday, April 29. Those over 65 or in need of assistance to register are asked to call 410-876-4848.

All Marylanders 16 and older can register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by going to covidvax.maryland.gov or calling 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).

Community cases

Carroll has reported 7,554 cases of community members who have tested positive — 3,877 women and 3,677 men. Age group data:

0-9: 317

10-19: 900

20-29: 1,328

30-39: 1,056

40-49: 1,011

50-59: 1,401

60-69: 911

70-79: 437

80-89: 167

90-99: 26

Total cases

Carroll has reported 8,781 total COVID-19 cases. ZIP code data (those with fewer than seven cases are not listed):

21784 (Eldersburg/Sykesville): 2,175

21157 (Westminster): 1,959

21158 (Westminster): 1,081

21771 (Mount Airy): 681

21074 (Hampstead): 632

21102 (Manchester): 553

21787 (Taneytown): 529

21048 (Finksburg): 457

21776 (New Windsor): 241

21797 (Woodbine): 159

21104 (Marriottsville): 129

21791 (Union Bridge): 106

21757 (Keymar): 66

Probable cases

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also reported seven new probable cases, making a total of 2,978 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 Christine Condon contributed to this article.

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