Carroll County is on pace for its lowest weekly COVID-19 case total in many months and may record one of its lowest totals since the pandemic began.
The Carroll County Health Department announced 13 new positive tests on Friday afternoon from the past four days, making 20 for the week. Barring a most unexpected rash of new cases being reported Friday night and/or Saturday, Carroll will end the week with a significantly lower total than last week’s 76, the fewest cases in a week since mid-October.
Case numbers have been coming down consistently for two months, since the recent peak of 229 cases the week of March 28. As recently as the week of April 25, Carroll had 157 cases. That total was followed by weekly tallies of 133, 90 and 76.
Digging deeper into the numbers, there have been no facility cases reported this week, while there have been only three recorded in the past three weeks.
Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, plummeted to 4.92. That’s the lowest it has been since Oct. 31. 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 2.23%. That’s the lowest it’s been since it was 2.22% on Oct. 26. The rate had reached 6.57% as recently as April 8 and was as high as 8.34% in January.
County Health Officer Ed Singer said during Thursday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting that the state recently found an issue dealing with how coronavirus deaths had been reported in more than 500 Maryland patients and that data reconciliation was going to increase Carroll’s death toll.
On Friday, the health department added 10 fatalities, noting that all were from 2020 and all were residents of congregate living facilities who were over 65 years old. Carroll has sustained 259 COVID-19 deaths, 184 in facilities and 75 members of the wider community.
Carroll County Health Department clinics at TownMall of Westminster with the Moderna vaccine are scheduled for Tuesday, June 1 from 2-5 p.m. and Thursday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A Johnson & Johnson/Janssen clinic is scheduled for Thursday, June 3 from 5-7 p.m.
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. Marylanders 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). Those seeking pharmacies with available vaccine should go to vaccines.gov.
According to numbers Singer shared at Thursday’s commissioners meeting, 53.2% of the overall county population has been vaccinated, receiving at least one dose, with 45.2% being completely vaccinated.
Around the state
With Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan now speaking about the pandemic in the past tense, state health officials reported 248 cases Friday.
After the state’s testing positivity rate dropped below 2% for the first time Monday, the percentage has continued to decline. Maryland’s rate Friday was 1.73%, down from 1.84% the day before, according to the health department.
About 2.85 million Marylanders, or about 47.2% of the state’s population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while about 3.4 million, about 56.4% of residents, have gotten at least one vaccine dose, according to the health department. A total of 6.04 million vaccine doses have been administered.
Carroll has reported 9,379 total COVID-19 cases. Of those, 8,134 are cases of community members who have tested positive.
Carroll has also seen 3,324 probable cases 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.