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CUMBERLAND — Allegany and Garrett counties each reported deaths Friday linked to the coronavirus, as well as hundreds of new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

In Allegany County, health officials said seven additional people had died, raising the overall toll to 47. Seventeen deaths have been linked to the virus since Nov. 13.

Garrett County health officials reported two COVID-related deaths Friday — both were living in long-term care facilities in Allegany County, but their official place of residence was Garrett.

“As a general rule, COVID-19 cases are counted in the jurisdiction where they lived when infected, but deaths are attributed to the county of official residence,” the Garrett County Health Department said in an emailed statement.

The Garrett deaths raised the county toll to three. The first was in September.

New cases

The Allegany County Health Department reported 274 new cases Friday, raising the cumulative total to 2,183.

The county’s case rate Friday was 145.46 per 100,000 population, compared to the state average 35.05. The county’s positivity rate was 14.89%, more than double the state average of 7.17%.

“Everyone should take COVID-19 precautions seriously to protect the most vulnerable among us,” Allegany County health officials said in an emailed statement. “Making simple adjustments like choosing to stay home for the holidays instead of traveling, getting take-out at restaurants instead of dining in, calling friends and family instead of visiting in person and adhering to public health directives for masking, social distancing and avoiding social gatherings can help protect you and your family and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

Garrett County health officials reported 112 new cases Friday, which raised the county’s cumulative count to 511, health officials said. The county’s positivity rate was 14.13%.

“We understand people are concerned and want to get tested because the number of cases is growing so dramatically,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, deputy health officer for Garrett and Allegany counties. “We are currently working on a plan to increase opportunities for local testing.”

Also Friday, Garrett County Regional Medical Center said eight COVID-19 patients were hospitalized there and the hospital had 56% bed capacity.

Testing

More than 2,000 people have been tested at a drive-thru testing site at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. The free testing is offered Mondays from 2 to 7 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointment, insurance or doctor’s order is needed.

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