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Two COVID-19 deaths reported at elder care facilities in Carroll County

Carroll County’s number of COVID-19 cases increased by 10 since Friday and two more Carroll countians at elder care facilities have died, according to data released by the health department late Monday afternoon.

A resident at Birch Manor Healthcare Center in Sykesville and a resident Brinton Woods Health and Rehab Center at Winfield died, according to the Carroll County Health Department. Birch Manor has now had 16 fatalities attributed to the novel coronavirus and Brinton Woods has had seven.

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No COVID-19 deaths had been reported in Carroll since June 23.

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ weekly update showed that 58 inmates at the Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville have now tested positive out of 354 tests. That number jumped from 29 out of 333 tests reported last Monday. The number of staffers tested (107) and positive tests among staffers (20) was unchanged. Many of the new positive tests had been reported last week by the Carroll County Health Department, which lists 64 Carroll County cases (and two fatalities) from the Central Maryland Correctional Facility.

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Of the 10 new cases reported Monday by the Carroll County Health Department, two were residents of congregate living facilities (one at Copper Ridge in Sykesville, one at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville), and one was a staff member at the Central Maryland Correctional Facility reclassified after previously being counted as a community case.

Carroll’s positivity rate, or the rate in which tests of Carroll residents return positive, rose slightly, from 4.17% to 4.26%. That rate is a seven-day rolling average based on data from the Maryland Department of Health. Maryland’s average positivity rate over the past seven days is 4.84%, according to state officials.

The county has reported a total of 1,121 confirmed cases, 643 of which have been been in congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes and correctional facilities. Carroll has seen 127 deaths, 113 from those living facilities.

Congregate living facilities that house multiple residents, such as nursing homes and correctional facilities, are particularly vulnerable to localized outbreaks — especially those that house the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions.

Despite a recent decline in new cases, county Health Officer Ed Singer has cautioned that a spike could be possible in the coming weeks, and it’s still important for locals to observe social distancing guidelines.

While there were eight new community cases reported, one past community case was reclassified to correctional facility staff, so Carroll had a net increase of seven community cases, of which there are now 478.

The health department considers 310 people to be recovered from the disease, unchanged since June 19. The number of total hospitalizations for the disease of community members remained at 76, unchanged since June 23.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call that hotline between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 410-876-4848, or contact their doctor. After hours, callers may leave a message or call 211. People with emergencies should continue to call 911.

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