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Carroll County sees another death, sets another weekly high for COVID-19 cases

For the fourth consecutive day, a Carroll countian’s death was attributed to the coronavirus. And for the third consecutive week, Carroll County topped its previous high for COVID-19 cases.

A member of the community described as a man in the 65-plus age bracket died this week, according to the Carroll County Health Department. There have now been 157 Carroll County fatalities attributed to the coronavirus — 24 community members and 133 residents of congregate living facilities.

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The health department announced 51 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday afternoon. That means Carroll has seen 255 total COVID-19 cases with one day remaining this week, to eclipse last week’s previous high of 233.

The biggest week for new cases prior to that was the first week of November with 156. Before that, Carroll’s highest number had been the week of May 24, when the coronavirus crisis in nursing homes was at its worst and Carroll saw 144 total cases.

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Of the 51 new cases, five are residents at Brightview Westminster Ridge and one is a resident at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster. There have been now been 733 COVID-19 cases at congregate living facilities in Carroll County, 45 this month after just 24 combined from August through October.

The remaining 45 cases are among members of the community, six of them confirmations of cases previously considered “probable” and four of them classified to previous weeks. There have been 237 community cases this week, eclipsing last week’s high of 216.

Carroll’s positivity rate, reported as a seven-day rolling average, increased to 6.21% through Thursday. It has risen five days in a row and has more than doubled to its present level from 2.9% on Nov. 1. It hasn’t been this high since since June 5, when far less testing was being done. The statewide rate is 7.17%.

With a net decrease of six because of the confirmations, Carroll has had 223 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 positive test and has seen 24 members of its campus community test positive for COVID-19 out of a total of 2,998 tests conducted since Aug. 14.

To date, 1,950 community members have been released from isolation, with 71 more declared cured as of Friday. There were two new hospitalizations for COVID-19, so 135 community members have now been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of the 2,215 community members to test positive in Carroll, 60 are younger than 10 years old; 266 are in the 10-19 range; 440 are 20-29 years old; 282 are 30-39; 313 are 40-49; 431 are 50-59; 263 are 60-69; 107 are 70-79; 48 are 80-89; and four are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 1,148 of the positive tests, men for 1,066, and data was unavailable for one case.

According to health department data, Carroll has confirmed 2,948 total cases. Westminster has seen the most with 1,031 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 725, Mount Airy with 328, Manchester with 195, Hampstead with 154, Finksburg with 148, Taneytown with 129, New Windsor with 74, Marriottsville with 48, Woodbine with 43, Keymar with 31, and Union Bridge with 28. 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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