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Four reported dead in Carroll this week due to COVID-19, as hospital continues to grapple with case surge

As the latest surge of COVID-19 cases continues to impact Carroll County, the health department reported four deaths this week due to the virus.

On Tuesday, Carroll Hospital had 180 total patients, 63 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19. In the Critical Care Unit, 15 patients, all of whom are COVID positive, were being cared for, with all but two on ventilators. Three of those 15 patients had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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“We are holding on day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour. Although our teams are tired and exhausted, they say that they do not know how to stop caring.”


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“Our hospital staff is doing the best that we can to deliver high-quality care and will continue doing so while seeing more patients than ever,” said Garrett Hoover, president of Carroll Hospital. “On any given day, 35-40% of our patients are acutely ill COVID patients with 80% of them being unvaccinated. … I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting vaccinated and receiving a booster.”

This week, Maryland’s positivity rate was 27.62%, with 3,452 people hospitalized due to the virus.

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Carroll County’s positivity rate was 27.51% as of Tuesday, a high transmission status, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

“We are holding on day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour. Although our teams are tired and exhausted, they say that they do not know how to stop caring,” said Dr. Mark Olszyk, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at the hospital. “We will do all we can to care for our patients and our communities.”

As of Tuesday, Carroll had 426 positive COVID-19 cases reported, and a total of four deaths related to COVID-19. The county’s overall case count to date is 17,617.

The Carroll County Health Department opened a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site last week at the Agriculture Center in Westminster, where they are able to offer about 280 tests each day. Tests at the Ag Center are by appointment only, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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In partnership with the health department, the Carroll County Public Library system is also distributing free COVID-19 home-test kits at branches and at headquarters. Online registration opens on Tuesdays with pickups on Wednesdays. Supplies are limited.

If you test positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test kit, the Maryland Department of Health is asking for results to be submitted to covidlink.maryland.gov/selfreport.

On Friday, the health department began vaccination clinics at Carroll Community College for residents 18 years of age and older. Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations are available. Registration is at https://cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links/.

Clinics at the college will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There will be no regular clinic held on Jan. 17, due to the holiday.

A vaccination clinic will be offered for children 5-11 years old from 3:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Jan. 17, at the college. First and second doses will be available, in addition to third does for children who are immunocompromised. Children may be registered for this clinic at https://www.marylandvax.org/appointment/en/reg/6111070952.

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