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Carroll County surges past previous high for new COVID-19 community cases in a week

Carroll County saw by far its most new community cases of COVID-19 last week, more than doubling its weekly average for the past two months.

The Carroll County Health Department announced Monday afternoon that 76 new cases of the novel coronavirus had been confirmed since Friday afternoon, with 40 reported Friday or Saturday.

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That brought last week’s total to 143 cases among community members who are not residents or staff of congregate living facilities.

Carroll had been averaging about 68 cases per week since Aug. 30 and the county’s previous high for a week had been 108, the week of July 26.

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Carroll’s two-week rolling average of new community cases per day was at about 17.4 through Saturday. That number had been below 2 in late June, about 5 as recently as mid-August and below 10 from mid-September until late-October.

There were 150 cases in total last week, counting seven at congregate living facilities.

Of the remaining cases announced Monday, one was the confirmation of a probable test in October. The other 35 count toward this week.

Carroll Hospital’s ICU bed usage was at nine on Saturday, twice last week reaching 10, the number at which the hospital’s resources begin to become stressed, according to the health department, after going as high as 13 the previous week.

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Carroll’s positivity rate, reported as a seven-day rolling average, was at 3.84% on Sunday after reaching 3.88% Saturday, the highest it had been since July 6. The statewide rate rose to 5.05%.

The health department announced 19 new probable cases, bringing that total to 161. These “probable” cases stem from Carroll countians who tested positive using a rapid antigen test, rather than a molecular test like those offered at state-run testing sites. The department doesn’t consider these results to be confirmed cases.

McDaniel College announced no new positive tests and has seen 20 members of its campus community test positive for COVID-19 out of a total of 2,695 tests conducted since Aug. 14.

To date, 1,583 Carroll countians have been released from isolation, unchanged since Friday. The number of community members who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic was also unchanged at 134, according to the health department.

Of the 1,792 community members to test positive in Carroll, 41 are younger than 10 years old; 224 are in the 10-19 range; 363 are 20-29 years old; 221 are 30-39; 257 are 40-49; 354 are 50-59; 206 are 60-69; 82 are 70-79; 41 are 80-89; and three are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 932 of the positive tests, and men 859.

According to health department data, Carroll has confirmed 2,487 total cases. Westminster has seen the most with 852 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 630, Mount Airy with 293, Manchester with 165, Hampstead with 125, Finksburg with 123, Taneytown with 98, New Windsor with 62, Marriottsville with 39, Woodbine with 34, Keymar with 30, and Union Bridge with 24. 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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