xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Two more Carroll County residents die of COVID; number of people hospitalized on the rise

While the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County seems to have stabilized, hospitalizations and the death toll continue to rise.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Carroll Hospital jumped by 11 in two days to 36, according to the Carroll County Health Department website. In addition to those 36 patients, two others are suspected of having the virus, nine critical care unit beds are currently in use and the total patient census is 156 out of an approximate capacity of 170.

Advertisement

As many as 33 had been reported hospitalized with the virus at Carroll Hospital last week. There had been 42 hospitalized during the peak of the post-holiday surge, but that number steadily decreased until Carroll Hospital had only three COVID-positive patients on March 9.

“We had a little break there, but definitely a lot more people are being hospitalized for COVID,” health planner Maggie Kunz told the Board of County Commissioner on Thursday.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More people are dying, too. The health department reported Thursday afternoon that two members of the community older than 65 have died this week, one Sunday and one Tuesday.

From Feb. 28 through April 1, the Carroll County Health Department reported just three deaths. However, seven fatalities were announced from April 2 through 9. None had been reported this week before Thursday. Overall, 237 county residents have died from COVID-19 — 65 community members and 172 congregate living facility residents.

New cases

The health department reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday afternoon, all community cases.

Carroll County has seen 119 cases this week, down from the 141 reported through the same period last week when the county finished with what has been updated to 227 cases after 229 the previous week. Before that, the last time the county saw a weekly drop was the week of Feb. 21, the final of seven consecutive weeks of declining numbers following the post-holiday peak.

Advertisement

Kunz said the case totals appear to be “leveling off.”

Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, rose slightly to 5.32%. It has been over 5% — the threshold the World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions stay below before lifting restrictions — since March 22 after dipping as low as 2.45% on March 4.

Carroll’s case rate per 100,000 people per day, reported as an average over the past seven days, rose to 19.25. The rate had been as low as 7.46 in early March after peaking at 47.58 on Jan. 11.

There have been no Carroll congregate facility cases this week, but an outbreak was reopened at Lorient Taneytown because one out-of-jurisdiction staff member tested positive. The outbreak at Fairhaven has been closed.

Around the state

Maryland added 1,444 coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 431,795, according to state health department data.

Over the past two weeks, Maryland has averaged 1,348 new daily infections. While that’s close to double what the rate was in early March, it’s less than half what the average was in January when infections were skyrocketing as part of a post-holidays surge.

Meanwhile, the state’s testing positivity rate rose .09 percentage points to 5.78% Thursday. It has remained above 5% since March 29.

Vaccine

According to Kunz, no registration links are currently available for health department clinics due to reduced vaccine allocations and the pause in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People are asked to watch the health department vaccination webpage for links, or to call 410-876-4848 if they are older than 65 or need assistance to register.

Carroll, like the state of Maryland, is in Phase 3, which means everyone 16 and older is eligible to get the vaccine. However, Carroll is only able to vaccinate those 18 and older at this time. Pfizer is the only approved vaccine for ages 16 and 17, and Carroll mostly gets the Moderna vaccine.

All Marylanders 16 and older can preregister for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by going to covidvax.maryland.gov or calling 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829). During preregistration, Marylanders can choose their top two preferred sites.

Community cases

Carroll has reported 7,459 cases of community members who have tested positive — 3,826 women and 3,633 men. Age group data:

0-9: 307

10-19: 891

20-29: 1,310

30-39: 1,044

40-49: 1,000

50-59: 1,384

60-69: 902

70-79: 429

80-89: 167

90-99: 25

Total cases

Carroll has reported 8,686 total COVID-19 cases. ZIP code data (those with fewer than seven cases are not listed):

21784 (Eldersburg/Sykesville): 2,159

21157 (Westminster): 1,942

21158 (Westminster): 1,062

21771 (Mount Airy): 678

21074 (Hampstead): 626

21102 (Manchester): 544

21787 (Taneytown): 519

21048 (Finksburg): 452

21776 (New Windsor): 239

21797 (Woodbine): 155

21104 (Marriottsville): 127

21791 (Union Bridge): 105

21757 (Keymar): 65

Probable cases

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also reported 14 new probable cases, making a total of 2,946 probables since the beginning of the pandemic. 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.

Baltimore Sun reporter Alex Mann contributed to this article.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement