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COVID cases in Carroll County increase for second consecutive week

COVID-19 cases in Carroll County increased for the second consecutive week after several weeks of decreasing totals.

The county health department reported 174 new COVID-19 cases from last week after reporting 163 the week of Oct. 24 and 127 the week of Oct. 17.

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Of last week’s cases, six were reported at congregate facilities, including four North Pines residents, one Longview resident and one small facility case.

Two county residents — a male over the age of 65 and a male under the age of 65 — died due to the virus, according to health department data.

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So far this week, 65 new community cases have been reported.

The county on Tuesday continued to be listed as having high COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The CDC’s most recent data reported 106.26 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in Carroll for the last seven days that ended Monday. It takes more than 100 cases per 100,000 to be classified as high and at least 50 to be classified as having substantial transmission.

According to the CDC, transmission levels in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s, Prince George’s, Worcester, Wicomico, Cecil, Harford, Howard and Queen Anne’s counties and Baltimore City were listed as substantial on Tuesday while Montgomery County maintained a moderate transmission status. The rest of the state, including Carroll, remains at high transmission.

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Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, is at 6.83%, an increase from 5.21% reported last Tuesday.

The state saw a small increase in its COVID-19 positivity rate this week. Its testing positivity rate was 3.1% on Tuesday, 2.95% last Tuesday and 3.11% on Oct. 26.

According to the state health department’s website, 532 people were hospitalized on Tuesday due to the virus in Maryland, 36 fewer from the same time last week. Hospitalizations hit a low of 97 patients on July 2.

In Carroll County, the health department reports there were 7 new hospitalizations last week due to COVID-19.

About 86.9% of Marylanders ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Last week, Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age. The authorization was based on the FDA’s thorough and transparent evaluation of the data that included input from independent advisory committee experts who overwhelmingly voted in favor of making the vaccine available to children in this age group, according to their website.

To register children for the vaccine, visit https://cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-vaccination-for-children/. On the site, users can click on the date they want to attend and fill out the digital form. Here are the clinic dates:

  • Nov. 13 at Winters Mill High School from 12 to 4:30 p.m. The second dose is Dec. 4.
  • Nov. 20 at South Carroll High School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second dose is Dec. 11.
  • Dec. 15 at Manchester Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. The second dose is Jan. 5.
  • Dec. 16 at Winfield Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. The second dose is Jan. 6.

According to the county health department’s data, about 64% of eligible Carroll County residents have been fully vaccinated and 67.2% received at least one dose of a vaccine.

The health department strongly encourages anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated to get their first or second vaccine at one of the health department’s clinics, which are held from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and from 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays.

People can preregister at cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links or walk into the health department, at 290 South Center St. in Westminster. People coming for second doses should bring their vaccine cards.

Several Moderna booster shot clinics for eligible residents will be hosted by the health department in the coming weeks. The booster is half the dose of the primary series dose and is administered at least six months after the second Moderna vaccine for those who are eligible, according to the department’s release. Eligible participants are 65 years older or 18 and older who live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions or who work or live in high-risk settings.

The clinics are scheduled at the Westminster Senior Center on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the North Carroll Senior Center on Nov. 18 from 2 to 6:30 p.m.; and the Winfield VFD Social Hall on Dec. 2 from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

To register for the clinic, visit https://cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-booster-shots/.

People who need a Pfizer booster can register for one of the health department’s regular clinics on the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Registration page, according to the release.

Those who received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine two or more months ago can receive a Johnson & Johnson booster shot at the health department’s regular weekly clinics on the COVID-19 Registration page.

Eligible recipients can also mix and match their booster shots, the release states.

The health department continues to administer third doses of vaccine for those who are immunocompromised.

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