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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Health officials predict Carroll County will return to medium or high COVID-19 community level by end of this week

Carroll County is at a low COVID-19 community level, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, but county health department officials say as cases continue to rise, the county will likely reach the threshold for medium, or possibly high, community level by the end of the week.

According to the local health department, as of May 23, the county’s positivity rate was 15.9%, which is a 1% increase from the previous week.

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To determine COVID-19 community level, the CDC looks at a combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days, the percentage of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.

Carroll County’s rate of new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 as of May 19 was 9.9 per 100,000. The CDC considers less than 10 per 100,000 as “low;” 10-19.9 as “medium;” and 20 and higher as “high” community level.

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Last week, Carroll had 354 positive COVID-19 cases, a substantial increase from the previous week’s total of 290, giving the county a case rate of 210.2 per 100,000. This is the highest confirmed case level since January. During the week of May 1, 196 confirmed cases were reported.

“We continue to see cases rise locally and across Maryland,” said Carroll Health Officer Sue Doyle. “We expect to be at medium or even high community levels soon in Carroll, per the new CDC guidance.”

COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising in the county since the week of March 27, when 46 cases were reported.

Doyle said the health department is returning to masking and virtual meetings and recommends that county residents take steps to prevent further spread, such as getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster, if eligible, masking indoors while in public, and testing when symptomatic or exposed.

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“Treatments are available, so people should talk with their doctor or find a test to treat site as soon as they get sick,” she said, suggesting residents check the health department’s COVID site at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19/ for more information.

Dr. Robert Wack, deputy health officer, said last week that hospitalizations are increasing in the county “and people are still dying from COVID-19 infections.”

Hospitalization data in Carroll is one week behind, but the week of May 15 saw 10 individuals hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19. No COVID deaths were reported last week.

As of this week, 72.3% of Carroll County’s population had been fully vaccinated and 55.1% had received a COVID-19 booster. Boosters are recommended for ages 12 and older. Second boosters are available for people 50 and older or those who are 12 and older and have certain immune-compromising conditions.

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Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available at health department clinics for individuals ages 5 and older. All doses and booster shots are being offered.

Clinics will take place every Wednesday until June 29 at the Westminster Senior Center from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Clinics will also be held June 6 and June 27 at the Winfield Fire Hall from 3 to 6:30 p.m. and June 23 at the Taneytown Activities Building from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Register for clinics at https://cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links/.


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