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Carroll County Public Schools sees decline in COVID-19 cases

Reflecting the overall trend in the county, Carroll County Public Schools showed another decline in positive COVID-19 cases this week, after students had a four-day weekend.

The school system updates its coronavirus dashboard every Wednesday and showed that COVID-19 cases dropped to 64 this week, with 16 staff members and 48 students testing positive. That’s down nearly 25% from last week, when 85 cases were listed. The number had been over 100 the previous week.

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The dashboard also showed the number for those with coronavirus symptoms went down. There were 91 people with symptoms — 77 students and 14 staff members. The total with symptoms last week was 148.

The dashboard reflects active, confirmed positive cases rather than a cumulative number of the cases that existed in prior weeks. This is the third week in a row the case numbers showed a decline since schools reopened in January.

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The Carroll County Health Department reported 38 new cases overall Wednesday — although nearly half of those are tests from previous weeks — as well as one death.

A resident of Carroll Lutheran Village has died. Carroll has seen 209 coronavirus fatalities, 161 residents of congregate living facilities and 48 members of the wider community. Five of the 38 new cases were at facilities as four Pleasant View residents (found after data reconciliation) and one Sunrise of Carroll County resident tested positive. The health department closed outbreaks at Lorien Taneytown, Brinton Woods, and Pleasant View, meaning there have been no new positive tests in the past 14 days.

Carroll, which has seen declines in COVID-19 cases in each of the past three weeks, has reported 77 new cases this week. There had been 137 total cases at the same point last week. Testing at the health department’s Carroll County Agriculture Center site reported low turnout Sunday and was canceled Tuesday due to inclement weather.

After data reconciliation, Carroll County’s case numbers for last week increased to 300, to 307 the prior week, to 383 the week of Jan. 10, and to 515 the week of Jan. 3, the highest weekly total Carroll has reported.

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The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped by 3.14 percentage points to 22.64. That’s less than half of what it was in mid-January. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, rose to 6.49%.

Carroll had 13 new probable cases, making a total of 1,679 probables. 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.

Of the 5,707 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 209 are younger than 10 years old; 637 are in the 10-19 range; 1,020 are 20-29 years old; 814 are 30-39; 789 are 40-49; 1,073 are 50-59; 680 are 60-69; 327 are 70-79; 135 are 80-89; and 23 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 2,972 of the positive tests, and men for 2,735 while one is unknown.

Of Carroll’s 6,852 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,366 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,709, Mount Airy with 537, Hampstead with 499, Manchester with 437, Taneytown with 422, Finksburg with 342, New Windsor with 179, Woodbine with 118, Marriottsville with 92, Union Bridge with 82, and Keymar with 57. 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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