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Carroll County reports fewest COVID cases since the first week of the pandemic

On March 13, 2020, Carroll officials announce the first case of COVID-19 in the county at a news conference. A handful of positive tests came in over the next 10 days, but it was the week of March 23, 2020, which saw 89 cases, when the pandemic struck in earnest locally.

The county’s weekly total had not dropped below 18 in any week since then, until last week.

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The Carroll County Health Department reported 13 cases of COVID-19 last week, which was lower than the 19 cases reported for the previous week that had been the lowest weekly total in nearly a year.

Last week marked the sixth consecutive weekly decline and the ninth time in 10 weeks that Carroll has seen a decrease, plunging from 229 cases at the beginning of that time frame. The county had seen at least 100 cases of COVID-19 for 28 consecutive weeks before the week of May 9 with at least 200 cases in 16 of those weeks, including a record 534 the week of Jan. 3.

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Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, is at 1.27. When it hit 1.19 on June 3, it was the lowest it had been since March 27, 2020. The rate was at 7.12 as recently as May 27 but has been 2.21 cases per day or lower since May 29. 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, is at 1.23%. It has been below 2% throughout June and reached an all-time low of 0.74% on June 2. The rate had been 6.57% as recently as April 8 and was as high as 8.34% in January. It peaked at 26.62% during the first weeks of the pandemic when few people were being tested.

Vaccine clinics

Another vaccine clinic for those ages 12 to 17, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, is scheduled for 2 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at TownMall of Westminster.

COVID-19 vaccination clinics for those 18 and older, with the Moderna vaccine, are scheduled for TownMall of Westminster from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. More Moderna clinics are set for TownMall on June 19, 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30, and July 1, 6 and 8.

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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 vaccines should go to vaccines.gov.

Around the state

Maryland health officials reported fewer than 100 new coronavirus cases for the fourth time in seven days on Sunday. The state’s positivity rate is down to 0.86 and Maryland is averaging just 1.57 cases per 100,000 residents per day. Two Maryland residents were reported dead of COVID-19 on Sunday, meaning 9,466 have died in the state since the beginning of the pandemic. Fewer than 200 people across the state are hospitalized with the virus. The number was more than 1,200 in late April.

As of Sunday, about 59.25% of Marylanders have received at least their first dose of a vaccine and roughly 52.09% have been fully vaccinated.

Carroll totals

Carroll has reported 9,416 total COVID-19 cases. Of those, 8,171 are cases of community members who have tested positive.

Carroll has also seen 3,332 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.

There have been 259 Carroll County fatalities attributed to the coronavirus, but none since the week of May 16.

Baltimore Sun reporter Phil Davis contributed to this article.

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