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CUMBERLAND — Allegany County health officials Wednesday reported 357 newly diagnosed COVID-19 infections and two deaths, raising the county’s cumulative case count to 3,161 and the death toll to 75.

The county health department had last reported case totals Monday.

Allegany County’s case rate Wednesday was 156.82 per 100,000 population, compared to the state average 37.03. The county positivity rate of 16.05% was more than double the state average of 7.52%.

“In addition to following public health directives to wear a face covering, practice social distancing, practice good hand hygiene, and frequently clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces, contact tracing is one of the most impactful tools in our prevention arsenal,” health officials said in a statement. “When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact tracers work to quickly identify close contacts of that individual and alert them to their potential exposure so that they can quarantine as needed. By rapidly identifying and contacting those individuals, public health workers can reduce the amount of exposure others may have to the virus through those close contacts.”

To facilitate the process of contact tracing, the state has established a contact tracing team. Their job is to call individuals identified as close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 patient, and they typically show up on caller ID as either “MD COVID” or by the phone number 240-466-4488.

“If you receive a call from this number, please pick up,” health officials said. “Your participation in the contact tracing process might just save someone’s life.”

Garrett County

Garrett County health officials reported three COVID-19 linked deaths and 19 new cases on Wednesday, raising county totals to 797 cases and eight deaths.

The victims were identified only as men in their 70s or 80s.

“We at the Garrett County Health Department extend our condolences to the families and friends of all the individuals who have passed away from complications of COVID-19,” Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens said in a statement. “Senior citizens have been particularly hard hit during this pandemic.”

The county had a seven-day positivity rate of 14.9% Wednesday, compared to the state average of 7.5%. Its seven-day case rate per 100,000 population was 119.6; the state rate was 37.

The new cases included seven under 20 years old; four between 21 and 40; two ages 41-60; four ages 61-80; and two ages 81-100-plus.

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