Carroll County Health Department data released Monday afternoon indicated a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases largely fueled by positive tests among those under 30 years old.
Fifty-nine new coronavirus cases over the past 72 hours were announced by the health department, the most new cases in a single data report since late March. Of those, 20 were between 10 and 19 years old and 17 were in the 20-29 age group
Additionally, two deaths were reported from county elder care facilties, bringing to 138 the number of coronavirus fatalities in Carroll since the beginning of the pandemic. The deceased were residents at BIrch Manor Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Sykesville and Brinton Woods Health and Rehabilitation Center at Winfield, although the Brinton Woods case was an older one that was just recorded over the weekend, according to the health department.
Carroll’s 59 new cases were for the period from 2 p.m. Friday through 2 p.m. Monday with 27 of the cases through Saturday, meaning they were added to last week’s total by the health department. The remaining cases, from Sunday and Monday, represent the first 31 cases for the week beginning July 26.
The highest number of county cases announced in a report by the health department has been 64, on March 29. Prior to Monday, the next-highest had been 53 cases on Monday, June 1, also a three-day report. Carroll has now seen 1,376 total cases.
Carroll County’s positivity rate, or the rate at which tests of county residents return positive, rose to 3.21% through July 26, up from 3.09. The last time the figure was higher than that was July 9, when it was 3.37%. The rate is reported as a seven-day rolling average based on data from the Maryland Department of Health. The statewide rate is 4.61%.
Three cases were reported at congregate living facilities, the new ones at Springfield Hospital Center and Fairhaven as well as the Brinton Woods case. Although congregate living facilities have seen low levels of cases lately, they continue to represent most of the county’s deaths, with the total rising to 124 after Monday’s report.
Carroll County Breaking News
In the weeks after the pandemic arrived in Carroll County, congregate living facilities — especially nursing homes — accounted for the majority of new cases being confirmed, with local municipalities, for the most part, avoiding severe spikes among community members. But that situation has flipped in recent weeks. That continued with Monday’s report.
Of the 59 cases reported Monday, 56 were community cases, that is people who are not residents or staff members at congregate living facilities. The total number of community cases in Carroll County stands at 721, with 14 deaths.
Of the 721 community members to test positive in Carroll, 13 are younger than 10 years old; 62 are in the 10-19 range; 140 are 20-29 years old; 101 are 30-39; 115 are 40-49; 163 are 50-59; 86 are 60-69; 23 are 70-79; and 18 are 80-89. Women have accounted for 355 of the positive tests, and men 366.
According to health department data, Westminster has the most cases in Carroll, with 453 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 379, Mount Airy with 192, Manchester with 96, Hampstead with 57, Finksburg with 53, Taneytown with 52, Keymar with 28, New Windsor with 26, Woodbine with 15, Marriottsville with 13 and Union Bridge with 10. Data is suppressed in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.
In community cases where ethnicity is known, 15% are Hispanic. Where race is known, 87% of those testing positive have been white, 7% have been Black and 6% considered “Other.”
The number of hospitalizations for the disease remained flat at 91 and 528 people who have tested positive have been released from isolation, according to the health department.
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.