Although Carroll Hospital said it is seeing fewer COVID-19 positive patients, data from the Carroll County Health Department released Tuesday show that 15 county residents died as a result of the virus in the past week.
As of Tuesday, Carroll Hospital had 150 total patients, 32 of whom tested positive for COVID-19. In the Critical Care Unit, nine patients were being cared for, three of whom are COVID positive. All but one critical care patient are using ventilators, and two patients outside the unit are also on ventilators.
The health department said that 13 of the 32 COVID-positive patients at the hospital had been vaccinated.
“While the number of COVID patients is decreasing, the acuity level remains high. Many of the COVID patients we have are seriously ill,” said Garrett Hoover, president of Carroll Hospital. “We know that things can change at any time, so we remain prepared to provide everyone with the highest quality care. … However, we do not want to let down our guard. We still strongly encourage people to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.”
This week, Maryland’s positivity rate was reported at 13.47%, with 2,361 people hospitalized due to the virus.
Carroll County’s positivity rate was 15.7% as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, classifying the county as “high transmission.”
“We watch the numbers constantly and are growing cautiously optimistic. … Critical care patients have the longest stays, however, and that will be the last unit to return to normal,” said Dr. Mark Olszyk, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Carroll Hospital. “Sadly, all the critical patients are unvaccinated.”
As of Tuesday, Carroll County had 646 active positive COVID-19 cases reported. The county’s overall case count to date is 19,449.
Fifteen county residents died due to COVID this past week, according to county health department data. Carroll’s coronavirus-related fatalities now total 352.
The Carroll County Health Department offers a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Agriculture Center in Westminster, where they are able to offer about 280 tests each day. Tests at the Ag Center do not require an appointment and are no longer limited to only people who were exposed or have symptoms.
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The drive-thru site is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays. For updated information, visit cchd.maryland.gov/covidtesting or call 410-876-4848.
The health department is also hosting vaccination clinics at Carroll Community College for residents 18 years of age and older. Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations are available. Registration is at https://cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links/.
Clinics at the college will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
First, second and third doses of the vaccine will be offered to 5- through 11-year-olds who are immunocompromised at Carroll Community College this Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and Feb. 27 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
In partnership with the health department, the Carroll County Public Library system has been distributing free COVID-19 home-test kits at branches and its headquarters. Though test kits were not shipped to the library in time for this week’s distribution, staff expects kits to be available next week.
Test kits also may be requested through the federal government online at covidtests.gov. One set of four tests is available per mailing address.
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test kit, the Maryland Department of Health is asking for results to be submitted to covidlink.maryland.gov/selfreport.