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Carroll County’s COVID cases continue to decrease as it maintains substantial virus transmission status

While COVID-19 cases in Carroll County continue to drop, the county has maintained a substantial transmission status for two consecutive weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The county on Tuesday was listed as having substantial COVID-19 transmission for the second consecutive week after several weeks of maintaining a mostly high transmission status.

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The CDC’s most recent data reported 73.02 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in Carroll. 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 have dropped in parts of Maryland with Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Charles and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City at substantial transmission while Howard and Montgomery counties are now at moderate transmission. The rest of the state remains at high transmission.

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For last week, the county health department reported a total of new 125 COVID-19 cases after reporting 145 the week of Oct. 10 and 204 the week of Oct. 3.

Of last week’s cases, eight were reported at congregate facilities, including four North Pine residents, one Inspirations staff member and three people in facilities with less than 10 people.

One county resident — a male under the age of 65 — died due to the virus, according to health department data.

So far this week, 35 new community cases have been reported.

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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 4.22%, a small decrease from last week’s rate of 4.31%.

The state’s COVID-19 numbers have been trending upward since the beginning of July but saw a consistent decrease in its positivity rate for the past month. Its testing positivity rate was 3.11% on Tuesday, 3.44% last Tuesday and 3.88% the Tuesday before (Oct. 12).

According to the state health department’s website, 614 people are currently hospitalized due to the virus in Maryland, 89 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 14 new hospitalizations last week due to COVID-19.

About 85.9% of Marylanders ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Children younger than 12 remain ineligible for the vaccines, but the U.S. moved a step closer to expanding vaccinations as a panel of government advisers on Tuesday endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer’s shots for 5- to 11-year-olds. The FDA isn’t bound by the panel’s recommendation and is expected to make its own decision within days.

According to the county health department’s data, about 63% of eligible Carroll County residents have been fully vaccinated and 66.4% 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.

A Pfizer booster shot clinic for eligible residents will be held at the North Carroll Senior Center on Thursday and runs from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

Federal guidance outlines three populations of past Pfizer recipients who are eligible to receive a third dose: older adults, nursing home residents and people with underlying medical conditions.

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

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