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CUMBERLAND — Allegany County health officials reported nine deaths linked to COVID-19 on Monday, and are warning residents to “stay home as much as possible” to slow the spread of the disease.

The latest deaths bring the county toll to 56. Twenty-six virus-related deaths have been reported since Nov. 18.

The health officials also reported 149 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, raising the cumulative count to 2,332. The county has recorded nearly 1,500 cases this month.

The county’s case rate Monday —165.34 per 100,000 population — remained the highest in the state and its positivity rate was 15.95%, more than double the Maryland average.

“With widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Allegany County, it is more important than ever for people to stay at home as much as possible, wear a mask at all times when in public, and maintain social distancing of at least six feet from others,” said Jenelle Mayer, county health officer. “I know people want to travel and visit with family for the holidays, but the best thing you can do for your loved ones this year is to stay at home.”

GARRETT COUNTY

The majority of the 48 cases reported Monday by the Garrett County Health Department — 23 of the 48 —  were among individuals between the ages of 30 and 59.

The new cases raised the county’s cumulative total to 559. The county health department had last reported case totals Friday.

Seventeen of the cases were among individuals under 30 and eight were over 60, health officials said.

The county’s seven-day positivity rate among Garrett County residents was 12.1 percent on Monday, and its case rate was 94 per 100,000.

Health officials also said more than 400 people were tested during a drive-thru event Friday in Oakland. Results for those tests were pending.

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