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Carroll County on verge of setting new high for community COVID-19 cases in a week

With 27 new cases of COVID-19 announced by the health department Friday, Carroll County is on pace to surpass its previous high for community cases in a week.

Carroll has seen 103 new cases among community members since Sunday (110 total, including cases originating in congregative living facilities such as nursing homes). Its most community cases in a week has been 108, set the week beginning July 26. Carroll had 100 cases last week, the only other week the county reached triple-digits in new cases.

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“The numbers here are troubling,” board President Stephen Wantz said during Thursday’s open session of the Board of County Commissioners. He urged Carroll countians to take mitigation measures, such as wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding crowds.

The increase in cases in Carroll is coming as the entire state experiences a spike. Maryland reported 1,541 new coronavirus cases Friday, the third-highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. The only two higher totals came in May.

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Carroll’s positivity rate, reported as a seven-day rolling average, rose slightly to 3.22%. The statewide rate rose to 4.37%.

To date, 1,583 Carroll countians have been released from isolation, an increase of 32 over Thursday. The number of community members who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic increased by one to 134.

Six new probable cases were announced, bringing that total to 142. 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.

McDaniel College announced one new case and has now seen 20 members of its campus community test positive for COVID-19 out of a total of 2,687 tests conducted since Aug. 14.

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Of the 1,716 community members to test positive in Carroll, 39 are younger than 10 years old; 219 are in the 10-19 range; 351 are 20-29 years old; 213 are 30-39; 245 are 40-49; 345 are 50-59; 196 are 60-69; 74 are 70-79; 41 are 80-89; and two are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 888 of the positive tests, and men 828.

According to health department data, Carroll has confirmed 2,411 total cases. Westminster has seen the most with 823 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 619, Mount Airy with 283, Manchester with 161, Hampstead with 119, Finksburg with 118, Taneytown with 94, New Windsor with 59, Marriottsville with 38, Woodbine with 33, Keymar with 30, and Union Bridge with 23. 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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