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Carroll reports 23 new COVID-19 cases amid highest week for community cases in more than a month

On the day Maryland moved into Stage Three in terms of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, Carroll County reported its most new cases of COVID-19 in a single day in weeks and, by Friday at about 2 p.m., had already announced its most weekly community cases in more than a month.

According to the Carroll County Health Department, 23 community cases of COVID-19 were reported Friday. That’s the most since 31 were reported on Aug. 14, but 13 of those were later removed from the data. Prior to that, 28 cases had been reported on July 31 during the worst week Carroll has experienced in terms of community cases.

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After four consecutive weeks of decreasing community cases, Carroll has seen 68 this week, the most since the week beginning July 26 that produced 109 community cases, the most on record for a week. Carroll had seen just 36 cases last week and 37 the week before.

“We are not sure why cases went up this week. It could be people still testing before going off to vacations or college,” health department spokesperson Rachel Turner said via email. “It could also be from people relaxing and not following face covering and social distancing measures, or people attending more large events and family gatherings without taking precautions. This is why we need to look at multiple weeks of data in order to determine trends.”

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Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that Maryland is moving into the third and final stage of his plan to relax restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. That means all businesses, including entertainment venues like movie theaters, were allowed to reopen beginning Friday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. Additionally, restrictions prohibiting rec council youth competition in tackle football, basketball and wrestling in Carroll County were lifted.

Also in data released Friday, Carroll’s positivity rate, the rate at which tests of county residents return positive reported as a seven-day rolling average based on data from the Maryland Department of Health, rose to 2.48%. That’s the highest it has been since Aug. 3. The statewide rate is 3.48%.

Cases in Carroll’s congregate living facilities remained at 678, but Carroll County has now seen 1,060 community cases with 887 having been released from isolation. Of the community members to test positive in Carroll, 22 are younger than 10 years old; 115 are in the 10-19 range; 225 are 20-29 years old; 132 are 30-39; 157 are 40-49; 227 are 50-59; 111 are 60-69; 40 are 70-79; 27 are 80-89; and one is in their 90s. Women have accounted for 541 of the positive tests, and men 519.

According to health department data, Carroll has seen 1,738 total COVID-19 cases. Westminster has the most, with 585 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 468, Mount Airy with 215, Manchester with 125, Finksburg with 76, Hampstead with 72, Taneytown with 64, New Windsor with 39, Keymar with 28, Marriottsville with 26, Woodbine with 18 and Union Bridge with 17. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

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Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the 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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