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Montgomery County Announces Indicators to Guide the Potential Rollback of Reopening Provisions as COVID-19 Cases Counts Increase

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 23, 2020

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles today updated the indicators on the COVID-19 Information Portal, that have guided the County since June related to reopening provisions, as health officials evaluate whether the uptick in COVID-19 cases will result in a rollback of Phase 2 reopening provisions. County health officials are closely monitoring these indicators as a result of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the County, State, and around the country. 

“We have been monitoring the uptick in cases to determine whether it was an anomaly, but the increase in cases has been consistent over the last few weeks,” said Dr. Gayles. "These updated indicators will enable the public to see the data we are evaluating as make difficult decisions. Our goal is to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and these indicators will help use monitor the risk of transmission in the County.”

The primary indicators that the County will be analyzing are:

  • Daily case rate (seven-day average per 100,000 people);

  • Test positivity rate or percentage (during the last 14 days); and

  • Rate of transmission.

 Secondary indicators to be evaluated include:

  • Percentage of change in new cases per 100,000 people (during the last seven days compared with the previous seven days);

  • Percentage of hospital inpatient beds that are occupied;

  • Percentage of intensive care unit beds occupied;

  • Percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients;

  • Positive cases with contact tracking attempts;

  • Positive cases that have been interviewed; and

  • Close contacts to positive cases where contact has been attempted.

These indicators will determine whether activities such as social gathering sizes, restrictions on indoor capacity (restaurants, houses of worships, retail, etc.) and activities that are considered high-risk based on contact-tracing data will need to be rolled back in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

“From the beginning of this pandemic, we made it clear that we would rely on science and data to guide our decisions,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I don’t want to see us have to rollback any of the activities that we have reopened over the last three or four months. Our residents and businesses have worked hard to protect themselves, families, employees and customers. We must remain vigilant and keep wearing masks, making sure that we physically distance, avoid activities where contact risk is high and get tested. If we all do our part, I believe we can keep the risk of greater transmission low.”

The new indicators  are available on the County’s website and will be updated daily. For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website as well as the County’s data dashboard or follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCountyMD

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Release ID: 20-626
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6507