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Carroll County reports seventh COVID-19 death in eight days

Another COVID-19 fatality was reported Friday by the Carroll County Health Department, meaning seven county deaths attributed to the virus have been announced in a span of eight days.

From Feb. 28 to April 1, only three COVID-19 deaths had been announced. But on April 2 the health department reported a resident of a congregate living facility had died. Then on Monday, the deaths of two community members — one over 65, one under 65 — and a facility resident were reported. On both Tuesday and Wednesday, deaths of over-65 community members were reported.

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On Friday, the health department announced that another community member, also over 65, had died this week. That make 235 county residents who have died of COVID-19 — 63 community members and 172 congregate living facility residents.

Also on Friday, the health department reported 46 new cases of COVID-19, one at the Carroll County Detention Center and the rest among community members, making 188 cases so far this week.

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Carroll finished with 228 cases last week — the most since the week of Jan. 24, which was the last time Carroll eclipsed 300 cases — after the previous week saw 209 cases. That had followed two consecutive weeks of 154 cases. The county’s weekly case totals have remained flat or increased the past five weeks after seven consecutive weeks of declines following the post-holiday peak of more than 500 cases the week of Jan. 3.

Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, rose slightly to 6.58%. 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 20.35. The rate had been as low as 7.46 in early March after peaking at 47.58 on Jan. 11.

Around the state

While Maryland health officials reported a new vaccination milestone with more than 80,000 immunizations, the state also added 1,840 coronavirus cases Friday, the most since late January. Over the last two weeks, Maryland has averaged 1,309 new infections daily, the highest 14-day average since Feb. 12. The state’s death toll increased to 8,238, with 14 more coronavirus fatalities reported.

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After two days of decline, Maryland’s coronavirus testing positivity rate increased to 5.59% Thursday, up 0.03 percentage points compared to the day before.

The state reported delivering a record 82,068 new daily vaccinations, with 39,766 people receiving their initial immunization and 31,305 their second of the two-dose regimens made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. About 10,997 of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines made their way into arms in Maryland.

Vaccine

The Carroll County Health Department is currently scheduling appointment-only vaccination clinics for people in all phases through 2B, including essential workers in 1C who live or work in Carroll, residents ages 60 to 64 (2A) and those younger than 60 with health conditions (2B) soon. They are continuing to prioritize those ages 65 and over. When a clinic is less than a week away and is not full, the health department will share the link online to allow Carroll County residents in eligible groups to register.

For those who would like to preregister for vaccination through the Carroll County Health Department, complete the appropriate form online at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-interest-forms or call 410-876-4848. All Marylanders ages 16 and older can now preregister for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by visiting covidvax.maryland.gov or calling 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829). During preregistration, Marylanders can choose their top two preferred sites.

According to health department data, more than 57,000 Carroll residents have had at least their first dose of vaccine.

Community cases

Carroll has reported 7,302 cases of community members who have tested positive — 3,741 women and 3,561 men. Age group data:

0-9: 293

10-19: 870

20-29: 1,289

30-39: 1,028

40-49: 977

50-59: 1,356

60-69: 879

70-79: 423

80-89: 162

90-99: 25

Total cases

Carroll has reported 8,527 total COVID-19 cases. ZIP code data (those with fewer than seven cases are not listed):

21784 (Eldersburg/Sykesville): 2,128

21157 (Westminster): 1,905

21158 (Westminster): 1,034

21771 (Mount Airy): 672

21074 (Hampstead): 617

21102 (Manchester): 535

21787 (Taneytown): 505

21048 (Finksburg): 445

21776 (New Windsor): 232

21797 (Woodbine): 150

21104 (Marriottsville): 125

21791 (Union Bridge): 101

21757 (Keymar): 65

Probable cases

In addition to the confirmed cases, Carroll also reported 26 new probable cases, making a total of 2,816 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.

Hospitalizations

Five more community members from Carroll were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing that number to 491 since the start of the pandemic.

On Friday, the number of patients being treated for COVID-19 at Carroll Hospital dropped to 29 from 33 earlier in the week. The metric had been down to three on March 9. A week later it was 11, and then the number doubled to 22 by the last full week in March. Additionally, one patient was under investigation for COVID-19 on Friday, 10 critical care unit beds were in use and the total patient census was 137 out of an approximate capacity of 170.

Baltimore Sun reporter Alex Mann contributed to this article.

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