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Number of those with COVID symptoms in Carroll County Public Schools jumps since last week

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 inside school buildings has declined slightly, however, the number of people with symptoms has risen significantly.

Carroll County Public Schools reported on its data dashboard this week that the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 dropped by six since last week. Of the 63 with the virus, six are employees and the rest are students. The number of people with symptoms grew from 90 to 135 people within a week, and 125 of those are students.

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At the elementary school level, 10 people have symptoms at Westminster, nine at Sandymount and eight at Elmer Wolfe, Linton Springs and Mechanicsville. There are five with COVID-like symptoms at East Middle, the most on that level, and six at Century High School.

Case numbers remain low on all three levels with three cases at Sandymount, the highest number at the elementary level, four at East Middle and five each at Century, Francis Scott Key and Westminster high schools. The Career and Tech Center is also reporting five cases but those numbers are included in home high school counts.

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Elementary school students were given the option of in-person learning four days per week beginning March 15, and that option was extended to middle and high school students on Monday. Previously, under the hybrid model, most students had the option of attending school no more than two days each week.

The CCPS data, which includes only students learning in person, is updated each Wednesday.

New cases

The Carroll County Health Department reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. All 31 were members of the community.

There have been no cases among staff or residents of Carroll congregate living facilities since two were reported the week of March 7. Additionally, outbreaks at Copper Ridge, Springfield Hospital and Sunrise of Carroll County were declared closed, leaving Lorien Mt. Airy and the Central Maryland Correctional Facility as the only active outbreaks at Carroll living facilities.

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There have been 79 new COVID-19 cases this week. Last week, 149 were reported, lower than the 152 reported the previous week. The weekly totals had gone up since 104 were reported the week of Feb. 21, which marked the seventh consecutive weekly decline after Carroll had exceeded 500 cases the first week of January.

Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, decreased slightly to 5.27% — the second day in a row it was over 5% after the rate had been below that level since Feb. 14. dipping as low as 2.45% on March 4.

Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, remained at 13.82. This rate peaked at 47.58 on Jan. 11 and has been below 15 since Feb. 13.

No fatalities were reported. The health department has reported two deaths attributed to the coronavirus this month and lists 227 total COVID-19 deaths among Carroll countians, including 57 members of the community and 170 residents of congregate living facilities.

Vaccine

The Carroll County Health Department is currently vaccinating people in Phase 1B and those ages 65 or older in 1C who have expressed interest. The health department will offer appointments to people ages 60 to 64 (2A) and essential workers in 1C as vaccine supply and slots at clinics allow, and plans are in place to soon begin offering appointments to people under 60 with health conditions (2B).

Eligible county residents who have not yet completed the health department’s interest form should do so at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-interest-forms or call 410-876-4848 for assistance.

The state of Maryland is open to people in phases 1A, 1B, 1C and 2A. Go to coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine#locator or call 1-855-MD-GOVAX for information on vaccination options at pharmacies, larger clinics and mass vaccination sites. Several pharmacies in Carroll County are now offering vaccines.

Around the state

Maryland health officials reported more than 1,000 newly confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday as more than 900 residents are currently hospitalized with the disease despite the state’s ongoing vaccination campaign.

The state reported 1,173 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the fifth time in the past seven days officials have reported more than 1,000 new daily cases. Health officials had reported fewer than 1,000 daily cases the past two days after seeing four consecutive days of more than 1,000 cases per day prior.

An additional 20 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the state total up to 915 currently receiving care.

Community cases

Carroll has reported 6,769 cases of community members who have tested positive. By age group:

0-9: 259

10-19: 801

20-29: 1,205

30-39: 945

40-49: 912

50-59: 1,271

60-69: 805

70-79: 393

80-89: 154

90-99: 24

Total cases

Carroll has reported 7,977 total COVID-19 cases. By ZIP code:

21784 (Eldersburg/Sykesville): 1,984

21157 (Westminster): 1,786

21158 (Westminster): 969

21771 (Mount Airy): 649

21074 (Hampstead): 575

21102 (Manchester): 505

21787 (Taneytown): 465

21048 (Finksburg): 414

21776 (New Windsor): 206

21797 (Woodbine): 136

21104 (Marriottsville): 115

21791 (Union Bridge): 97

21757 (Keymar): 64

Probable cases

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also had 25 new probable cases, making a total of 2,538 probables 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.

Hospitalizations

On Monday, Carroll Hospital had 22 patients who are positive for COVID-19, according to the Carroll County Health Department. The previous Tuesday that number had been 11 and as recently as March 9 it had been just three. Additionally, four Carroll Hospital patients were under investigation for COVID-19. Nine critical care unit beds were in use, and the total patient census was 154 out of an approximate capacity of 170.

Baltimore Sun reporter Phil Davis contributed to this article.

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