The fifth Carroll countian to die of COVID-19 in eight days was an elder care resident, another casualty of a pandemic that hits the older population hardest.
The latest fatality, reported Tuesday by the Carroll County Health Department, was a resident at Lorien Taneytown. Deaths in Carroll had been announced last week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — two residents of congregate living facilities and two members of the wider community, all in the 65-over age bracket.
The four deaths last week were the most Carroll has seen in a week since mid-June. Carroll County has now reported 158 deaths attributed to COVID-19, 134 facility residents and 24 community members. Of those, 141 have been 65-over.
“Yes, these are people who are older, but it’s still very concerning when we start seeing people dying from COVID,” County Health Officer Ed Singer said Tuesday during a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. “With the spread that we’re seeing in the community, I don’t know that this is necessarily surprising. But it is concerning.”
The health department reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, six of them in congregate living facilities. There was one positive test of a staff member at Springfield Hospital Center, one positive test of a staff member at Carroll Lutheran Village and four positive tests among staff members at a facility that the health department is still verifying.
The remaining 30 cases are community members, six of them younger than 10 years old, bringing to 93 the number of community cases Carroll has seen this week, trending slightly lower than last week’s 298 community cases. Carroll’s total cases through Tuesday afternoon were at 99, also on track to be lower than last week’s record 320. Carroll has set new highs for total cases in each of the past three weeks.
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Another 23 community members were released from isolation, meaning at least 24 hours have passed since recover (defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms) and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. So 2,075 community members have now been declared cured. There were three new hospitalizations reported Tuesday and 141 community members have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic.
Carroll’s positivity rate, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped to 5.81% through Monday, falling below 6% for the first time since Nov. 18. The statewide rate dropped slightly to 6.6%.
With a net gain of 19, Carroll has had 274 probable cases. The 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 seen four in the past seven days as 27 members of its campus community have tested positive for COVID-19 out of a total of 3,000 tests conducted since Aug. 14.
Of the 2,371 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 69 are younger than 10 years old; 275 are in the 10-19 range; 470 are 20-29 years old; 304 are 30-39; 341 are 40-49; 460 are 50-59; 275 are 60-69; 118 are 70-79; 52 are 80-89; and seven are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 1,228 of the positive tests, men for 1,142, and data was unavailable for one case.
According to health department data, Carroll has confirmed 3,114 total cases. Westminster has seen the most with 1,088 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 768, Mount Airy with 333, Manchester with 210, Hampstead with 161, Taneytown with 154, Finksburg with 153, New Windsor with 75, Marriottsville with 51, Woodbine with 45, Keymar with 32, and Union Bridge with 29. 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.