Eight Carroll County residents died this past week from the coronavirus, according to data from the Carroll County Health Department.
On Tuesday, Carroll Hospital had 177 total patients, 48 of whom tested positive for COVID-19. In the Critical Care Unit, 15 patients were being cared for, 10 of whom are COVID positive. All but one critical care patient were using ventilators.
About 44% of COVID-positive patients at the hospital had been vaccinated against the virus, with only 14% of that population having received a booster.
“While our overall numbers remain stubbornly high, they are steady,” said Dr. Mark Olszyk, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Carroll Hospital. “What challenges us now is the rising percentage of patients who are critical – the sickest of the sick. This is the latest strain on our people and resources.”
This week, Maryland’s positivity rate was reported at 19.77%, with 3,060 people hospitalized due to the virus.
Carroll County’s positivity rate was 22% as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, classifying the county transmission as high.
“Our team continues to be stressed by the high census in COVID patients, but we remain vigilant in providing the highest quality of care,” said Garrett Hoover, president of Carroll Hospital. “Our caregivers are challenged with the high number of high acuity critical care patients that we are caring for, which is why my message remains the same: Get vaccinated, get your booster, wear a mask in public places and use good judgement in social gatherings.
“The community’s health depends on it.”
As of Tuesday, Carroll County had 595 active positive COVID-19 cases reported. The county’s overall case count to date is 18,803.
The Carroll County Health Department offers a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site 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., Mondays through Thursdays. For updated information, visit cchd.maryland.gov/covidtesting or call 410-876-4848.
Carroll County Breaking News
In partnership with the health department, the Carroll County Public Library system has been distributing free COVID-19 home test kits at branches and its headquarters. None are available this week, but test kits may be requested through the federal government online at covidtests.gov. One set of four tests is available per mailing address.
If an individual tests 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.
The health department is also hosting 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.
Last week, during a COVID-19 update at the Board of County Commissioners meeting, Maggie Kunz, a health planner for the county, said 75.3% of Carroll’s population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, 69.9% had received two doses and 32.7% had been boosted.
Booster shots are now recommended for everyone, Kunz said.
“Data is really showing boosters can help improve protection against omicron and other variants and prevent serious illness and death,” she said. “So we encourage people to get their booster if they haven’t already.”