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Carroll County reports fewest COVID-19 cases in nearly a year; no active outbreaks at congregate living facilities

With nearly half the population in Carroll and the state of Maryland fully vaccinated, the county reported its second-lowest weekly total of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic reached the region.

On top of that, Carroll County Health Department data lists no active outbreaks at congregative living facilities as of Monday, meaning there have been no new cases among residents or staff members in the past two weeks. The vast majority of cases early in the pandemic were at congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes.

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Carroll reported 19 total new cases of COVID-19 for the week beginning May 30, down from the previous week’s 21. The only full week since the pandemic began with fewer cases came the week of June 14, 2020, when 18 cases were reported.

It marked the fifth consecutive week and eighth out of the past nine that Carroll’s weekly total of COVID-19 cases has decreased. The county had seen at least 100 cases of COVID-19 for 28 consecutive weeks before the week of May 9 with at least 200 cases in 16 of those weeks, including a record 534 the week of Jan. 3.

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Carroll has had only one positive test so far this week, according to the health department.

Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, rose slightly to 1.6. That rate was at 7.12 as recently as May 27 but has been below 2 since May 29. The rate peaked at 47.58 on Jan. 11.

Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, is at 1.06%, up slightly from the all-time low 0.8% recorded last week. The rate had reached 6.57% as recently as April 8 and was as high as 8.34% in January. It peaked at 26.62% during the first weeks of the pandemic when few people were being tested.

No coronavirus-related deaths have been announced for last week. If that stands, it will be the second week in a row and only the third week since Nov. 8 without a Carroll County resident dying of COVID-19, the other being the week of March 7. Carroll has sustained 259 COVID-19 deaths, 184 in facilities and 75 members of the wider community.

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According to health department data through June 1, 54.4% of the overall county population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 47.3% are completely vaccinated. Data shows that 89% of those over 65 have been vaccinated as have 79% of those aged 60-64. The numbers drop to 62% of those in their 50s, 58% of those in their 40s, 54% of those in their 30s, 45% of those in their 20s and 35% of those aged 12-19.

Around the state

The Maryland Department of Health reported just 84 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 460,659 since March 2020. It’s the second time in the past week the state has reported fewer than 100 new cases, down significantly from December and January, when thousands of new cases were confirmed each day. Health officials haven’t reported more than 150 new cases in a single day since June began.

The 49.98% of Marylanders fully vaccinated against the illness represented more than 3 million people who have gotten either both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shots. More than 6 million people live in the state.

The state has averaged 23,690 vaccinations per day over the past week.

Vaccine clinics

The Carroll County Health Department has COVID-19 vaccine clinics (Moderna vaccine) scheduled for TownMall of Westminster at Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. More clinics are set for TownMall on June 15, June 17, June 19, June 22, June 23, June 24, June 29, June 30, July 1, July 6 and July 8.

Clinic dates and times can be found at cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links. Registration is preferred, but walk-ups will be vaccinated. Call 410-876-4848 for more information. Marylanders can register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by going to covidvax.maryland.gov or calling 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829). Those seeking pharmacies with available vaccine should go to vaccines.gov.

Carroll totals

Carroll has reported 9,401 total COVID-19 cases. Of those, 8,156 are cases of community members who have tested positive.

Carroll has also seen 3,332 probable cases since the beginning of the pandemic. These are patients who test positive using a rapid antigen test, rather than a molecular test like those offered at state-run testing sites. The health department doesn’t consider these results to be confirmed cases.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this report.

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