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Predicted post-holiday surge seemingly hits Carroll County with record number of COVID-19 cases reported

The post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases predicted by local health officials seemingly began to show itself as the Carroll County Health Department released data Monday afternoon showing that last week produced a new high for positive tests.

The health department on Monday reported 207 cases from the past previous 72 hours and also announced the death of a resident at Sun Valley at the Meadows.

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Based on data processed through Monday, Carroll saw 486 new cases of COVID-19 last week after 346 the previous week and 355 the week before that. The previous highest weekly total had been set the week of Dec. 13, when the health department reported 433 total cases. There were 93 cases already reported this week.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, jumped to 45.88, the highest it has been. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, declined slightly to 8.12%, below the state’s current rate of 8.56%.

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County Health Officer Ed Singer and Carroll Hospital President Garrett Hoover predicted in December that Carroll would see its highest COVID-19 numbers yet following Christmas and New Year’s Eve gatherings.

Additionally, there were 98 new probable cases, making a total of 1,037 probables. These are patients who test positive using a rapid antigen test, rather than a molecular test like those offered at state-run testing sites. The health department doesn’t consider these results to be confirmed cases.

There were 12 new hospitalizations of community members due to COVID-19, bringing that number to 324 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Carroll Hospital had 42 patients who are COVID-19 positive and 18 under investigation as of Jan. 11, with 12 ICU beds in use and a total census of 159 (out of a maximum capacity of 170).

The fatality brought to 155 the number of residents of Carroll’s congregate living facilities who have died of COVID-19 out of the county’s total death toll of 193.

Of the 207 cases, nine are facilities cases including new outbreaks at Bethania Home Care and Sunrise of Carroll County, according to the health department website, which lists 16 active outbreaks at congregate living facilities and two at correctional facilities.

Of the 4,763 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 164 are younger than 10 years old; 519 are in the 10-19 range; 875 are 20-29 years old; 660 are 30-39; 678 are 40-49; 916 are 50-59; 554 are 60-69; 264 are 70-79; 116 are 80-89; and 17 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 2,481 of the positive tests, and men for 2,282.

Of Carroll’s 5,813 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 1,974 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,521, Mount Airy with 465, Hampstead with 407, Manchester with 380, Taneytown with 335, Finksburg with 290, New Windsor with 143, Woodbine with 94, Marriottsville with 81, Union Bridge with 61 and Keymar with 50. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the hotline between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 410-876-4848, or contact their doctor. After hours, callers may leave a message or call 211. People with emergencies should continue to call 911.

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