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Press Releases - County Council

Council President Katz’s remarks from COVID-19 briefing

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 24, 2020—Today the Council received updated information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montgomery County and the steps being taken to help stop the spread of the virus from Dr. Travis Gayles, health officer and chief of public health services, and Dr. Earl Stoddard, director, Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Council President Katz provided the following remarks.

All the members of the Montgomery County Council understand that these are extraordinarily difficult and uncertain times for our residents. Community members are anxious and deeply worried about the health, financial stability and welfare of their families and loved ones, and we share your concerns.

Health experts and government leaders are asking all of us to make tremendous personal sacrifices for the good of our community, our nation and the world. We know that dealing with these changes can be overwhelming, but it’s what must be done to protect humanity.

Protecting the public health and safety of all Montgomery County residents and ensuring the continuity of local government are the Council’s top priorities, as we work to respond to the ever-changing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. County leaders will meet this challenge head on and will continue to conduct the business of the people, while we manage this national health emergency in our own community.

Today, on the guidance of our Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, we have asked some Councilmembers to participate in our Council meeting by connecting remotely. We also are practicing social distancing, using locally produced hand sanitizer, and keeping the number of individuals in the Council Hearing Room to less than 10 to comply with Governor Hogan’s executive order.

There continues to be no public access to the Council Office Building; however, exceptions have been made for members of the media and members of county government and outside agencies. Similar policies were implemented by the Maryland General Assembly and the U.S. Congress, as all levels of government are dealing with the response to COVID-19.

For the months ahead, the work of the Council will be laser focused on the public health and economic issues associated with COVID-19, the County’s budget work and legislation. Throughout these challenging times, we pledge to continue working with our residents, our business community, our nonprofit partners and our school and college systems to provide the resources necessary to get us through this public health emergency and provide the supports needed for our collective recovery. We will pull together and roll up our sleeves, higher than we ever have before, to overcome this historic health and economic challenge, and we will do it together as One Montgomery.

You can watch today’s briefing here.
You can review the PowerPoint presentation provided by Dr. Gayles here.

Release ID: 20-111
Media Contact: Lisa Mandel-Trupp 240-777-7906