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As COVID cases decrease, Carroll again listed as having substantial transmission

While COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Carroll, the county on Tuesday was listed as having substantial COVID-19 transmission after several weeks of maintaining a mostly high transmission status, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The CDC’s most recent data reported 89.64 cases per 100,000 residents in Carroll. It takes more than 100 new cases per 100,000 to be classified as high and at least 50 to be classified as having substantial transmission.

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According to the CDC, transmission levels remain high in most of Maryland, however several counties joined Carroll dropping to substantial transmission on Monday — Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Charles, Howard, Montgomery and Prince Georges counties.

For last week, the county health department reported a total of new 143 COVID-19 cases after reporting 203 the week of Oct. 3 and 240 the week of Sept. 26.

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Of last week’s cases, two were reported at congregate facilities, including one North Pines resident and one Birch Manor resident.

Three county residents — two males over the age of 65 and one male under the age of 65 — died due to the virus, according to health department data.

So far this week, 32 new community cases have been reported.

Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, is at 4.31%, a decrease from last week’s rate of 5.27%.

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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 3.44% on Tuesday and 3.88% last week.

According to the state health department’s website, 703 people are currently hospitalized due to the virus in Maryland, 62 fewer from the same time last week. Hospitalizations hit a low of 97 patients on July 2.

About 85.3% of Marylanders ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Children younger than 12 remain ineligible for the vaccines, though they are expected to qualify by the end of the year.

Pfizer and Biotech announced last week they had submitted an emergency request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for authorization of the companies’ two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.

An FDA advisory committee plans to meet to discuss authorization later this month.

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.

Pfizer booster shot clinics for eligible residents will be held at South Carroll Senior and Community Center on Oct. 21 and the North Carroll Senior Center on Oct. 28 — both running 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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