Health Department, Commissioners Provide Community COVID-19 Update
On July 15th, during the Carroll County Board of Commissioners open session, Health Officer Ed Singer provided updates on new COVID-19 data, vaccination clinics, and related Carroll County Health Department services. After several weeks of a downward trend in COVID-19 cases in Carroll County, confirmed case numbers rose last week. Case, hospitalization, death, and vaccination data are still updated weekly on the Health Department’s website and provided to the Carroll County Board of Commissioners to review.
The Health Department reported ten cases last week, after reporting just three cases the week of 6/27, and eight cases the week of 6/20. “We haven’t seen cases increasing in several weeks, until this week,” said Mr. Singer. “Even though the State of Emergency is over, COVID is still here. The new variants spread more easily and the Delta variant now makes up over half the cases in the United States. State and national data show that most COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are occurring in unvaccinated individuals.”
The Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics have moved to the Health Department building, at 290 South Center Street, Westminster. Walk-ins are welcome, and all three vaccines (Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer) are available at all clinics, so people aged 12 and up can get vaccinated. People who need their second dose should bring their vaccination card, and make sure their second dose is at least three weeks after their first dose for Pfizer, or four weeks after their first dose for Moderna.
Clinics are currently scheduled for Tuesdays from 5:00 – 6:30 pm and Fridays from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in July; starting August 3rd clinics will be Tuesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, and Fridays 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Find more information on Health Department clinics at https://cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links/. People who need help to register or who cannot make those clinic times can call 410-876-2152 for assistance. Pharmacy and other vaccination options can be found at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine.
The Health Department is also attending a limited number of events to bring COVID-19 vaccines to communities across the county. Learn more at https://cchd.maryland.gov/carroll-govax-events/ The “Health on Wheels” RV will be at the Carroll County FFA and 4H Fair from July 31st – August 6th, with vaccinations for ages 12 and up and information on other Health Department services.
“This is not the time to let down our guard and become complacent about preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said County Commissioner Ed Rothstein. “Even though our vaccination rates are very high in Carroll County, the work needs to continue. The more people in our community get vaccinated, the more we can all feel confident about returning to normal and reduce the impact of the virus on ourselves, our loved ones and the community as a whole.”
The Health Department has given over 27,000 first doses and nearly 26,000 second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Almost 60% of all county residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, including residents who were vaccinated at other locations, such as mass vaccination sites and pharmacies.
In addition to vaccinations, the Health Department continues to conduct contact tracing with positive cases, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. Staff continue to investigate outbreaks and provide guidance and support to schools, businesses, and organizations. Though the Health Department no longer offers testing for the public, COVID-19 tests are readily available at some urgent cares, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices.
“Vaccines are safe, effective, and the best way to protect yourself and others, and prevent more variants. If you are not yet vaccinated, you are at higher risk. If you are not sure about vaccination, talk to your doctor and visit our website for updates and links to reliable sites for more information,” said Singer.