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Carroll County sees 13% decrease in new COVID-19 cases, week over week

New cases of COVID-19 among community members dropped by 13% last week based on data announced by the health department Monday, when Carroll County Public Schools elementary and middle school students and teachers returned to buildings en masse for the first time since being shut down in mid-March by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 21 new community cases Monday included nine that were reported from last week, preliminarily bringing that total to 60. One reported case dated back to the previous week, bringing that week’s total to 69, accounting for the decrease of nine new cases week over week. The other 11 new cases are from Sunday or Monday of this week.

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Carroll is averaging approximately 65 new community cases per week over the past seven weeks. The two-week rolling average for new cases is slightly above 9 per day. That’s a metric the school system has said will be monitored and will influence any potential future reassessment of in-person learning.

Carroll’s positivity rate, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dipped slightly, to 1.81% as of Sunday, its lowest point in 10 days. The statewide rate that Maryland reports stayed essentially flat at 3.14%.

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The health department reported seven more probable cases of COVID-19, bringing the current total to 94. These “probable” cases stem from Carroll countians who tested positive using a rapid antigen test, rather than a molecular test like those offered at state-run testing sites. The department doesn’t consider these results to be confirmed cases.

To date, 1,329 Carroll countians have been released from isolation, an increase of nine since Friday. The number of community members who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic rose by one to 129.

McDaniel College reported one new case of COVID-19 and has now seen 17 members of its campus community test positive out of a total of 2,310 tests conducted since Aug. 14.

A total of 149 Carroll County residents have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Of those, 130 were residents of congregate living facilities, which saw steep spikes in cases earlier in the pandemic but have seen few in recent weeks.

Of the 1,459 community members to test positive in Carroll, 28 are younger than 10 years old; 188 are in the 10-19 range; 312 are 20-29 years old; 179 are 30-39; 217 are 40-49; 283 are 50-59; 157 are 60-69; 56 are 70-79; 37 are 80-89; and two are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 753 of the positive tests, and men 706.

According to health department data, Carroll has now seen 2,145 total cases. Westminster has seen the most with 727 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 553, Mount Airy with 264, Manchester with 145, Finksburg with 103, Hampstead with 102, Taneytown with 80, New Windsor with 45, Marriottsville with 36, Woodbine with 31, Keymar with 30, and Union Bridge with 19. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

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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