With more and more Carroll County residents having received a COVID-19 vaccine, the number of new cases in the county has plummeted.
The Carroll County Health Department reported Monday afternoon that Carroll finished last week with 81 new cases, the county’s lowest weekly total in seven months. This week is off to a similar start, with Monday afternoon data from the health department showing just 13 cases from the previous 72 hours.
The 81 cases represents a 39% week-over-week decline from 133. Carroll has seen decreases in the number of cases in five of the past six weeks after hitting a recent peak of 229 the week of March 28.
The last time Carroll had fewer cases was the week of Oct. 11, when 65 were reported. From that point, cases went steadily up until the county eclipsed 500 cases the first full week of January following the holidays.
Unlike in October, vaccines are available and more than 50% of Carroll County residents have now received at least one dose, with some 40% fully immunized. Those numbers will continue to rise now that those ages 12 to 15 are eligible for the vaccine.
The Carroll County Health Department’s first clinic for ages 12 to 17 using the FDA-approved Prizer vaccine is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at TownMall of Westminster. Every spot in the clinic was filled within six hours of the health department posting the registration link, spokesperson Maggie Kunz said last week.
Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, dropped to 7.29, the lowest it has been since Oct. 28. The rate peaked 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, dropped to 3.4%, the county’s lowest rate since March 9.
The health department also announced Monday that a female community member, listed as 65-over, died of COVID-19 on Thursday.
That makes 248 Carroll deaths attributed to the coronavirus — 174 residents of congregate living facilities and 74 members of the wider community. Of the 248 deaths, 221 were ages 65 or older.
In addition to Wednesday’s Pfizer vaccine clinic, the health department will be offering clinics for adults each of the next three Thursdays at TownMall of Westminster in the space formerly occupied by Sears. A Moderna vaccine clinic is set for 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and another Moderna clinic is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 27. A Johnson & Johnson clinic is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. June 3 for those interested in the one-shot vaccine.
Clinic dates and times can be found at cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links. Registration is preferred, but walk-ups will be vaccinated. Call 410-876-4848 for more information.
Around the state
Maryland added 212 new coronavirus cases Monday, according to state health officials, the smallest daily case count since March 30, 2020 — about three weeks after the state recorded its first COVID-19 cases.
“Today’s key health metrics show that, after a long, hard-fought battle, we are nearing the end of this pandemic as we finally see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “Those who have not yet been vaccinated are strongly advised to immediately do so.”
Maryland officials reported the state on Monday equaled its lowest ever COVID-19 seven-day positivity rate at 2.51%.
Carroll has reported 8,035 cases of community members who have tested positive, 4,131 women and 3,904 men. Age group data:
Carroll has reported 9,278 total COVID-19 cases.
The health department reported no new probable cases. Carroll has seen 3,300 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.