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Carroll sees fewest community cases of COVID-19 in a week since June

Carroll County saw its fewest new community cases of COVID-19 in a week since June, according to data released by the health department Monday afternoon.

On Monday, the Carroll County Health Department confirmed 17 new community cases — that is, cases outside of what the department describes as congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes — 11 of which were reported Friday or Saturday with the other six reported Sunday or Monday.

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The 11 brought to 37 the number of new community cases from Aug. 16 through Aug. 22, although the weekly numbers changed slightly in each of the past two weeks from the initial reports as more data became available.

Assuming the total remains at 37, it is the fewest new community cases in a week for Carroll since the last full week in June, when 10 were reported, according to the health department.

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The week before, Carroll had added 53 community cases. The week before that, 62, preceded by a record 109 for the week ending Aug. 1. County Health Officer Ed Singer told the Board of County Commissioners on Thursday that it appears the county is “heading in a more positive direction,” but that he wants to see a weekly rate no higher than 35 community cases for a few weeks.

The health department also announced a community fatality on Monday, making it 17 community members who have died of COVID-19. After no community deaths were reported in July, there have been three deaths in August. There have been 125 deaths of residents at congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes, in Carroll.

The county’s positivity rate, or the rate at which tests of county residents return positive, increased slightly to 1.25 after reaching a low of 0.96% at the end of last week. The statewide rate is at 3.27%.

McDaniel College continued to report five total COVID-19 cases out of 798 tests.

In all, Carroll has seen 1,637 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — 960 from the community and 677 from county residents who work or live in congregate living facilities.

Health department data shows a total of 812 Carroll countians have been released from isolation, an increase of 18 since Friday. The number of community members who have been hospitalized for the virus remained at 108.

Of the 960 community members to test positive in Carroll, 20 are younger than 10 years old; 96 are in the 10-19 range; 194 are 20-29 years old; 123 are 30-39; 153 are 40-49; 210 are 50-59; 102 are 60-69; 39 are 70-79; 22 are 80-89; and one is in their 90s. Women have accounted for 478 of the positive tests, and men 482.

According to health department data, Westminster has the most total cases in Carroll, with 557 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 431, Mount Airy with 208, Manchester with 119, Finksburg with 74, Hampstead with 65, Taneytown with 62 New Windsor with 38, Keymar with 28, Woodbine and Marriottsville with 18 each, and Union Bridge with 16. 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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