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Rising Number of COVID-19 Cases May Prompt Reinstating Mask Mandate in Montgomery County Board of Health to Meet Next Week

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 30, 2021

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, after consultation with County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles, has recommended to the County Council that face coverings be required in the event the County’s transmission status increases to substantial transmission. On Tuesday, July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), citing new data on the Delta variant, recommended that persons in areas of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19 return to wearing masks indoors.  The CDC defines substantial transmission as 50-99 cases per 100,000 residents for seven days.  With 1.05 million residents, that equates to about 75 new cases per day or 525 new cases over a seven-day period. If that threshold is met, an indoor mask requirement for all residents, including those who are vaccinated, would take effect. 

“We have seen the daily number of new cases go up for more than two weeks and the majority of the new cases are the Delta variant, which is highly contagious,” said County Executive Elrich.  “While we have a high rate of vaccination in the community, health officials have determined that this variant is very easy to spread and we want to be sure that those in the community who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated, such as children under the age of 12, are protected. No one wants to go back to wearing masks but in the absence of a 100 percent vaccination rate in the community, masking is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus and  protect the health of our community.”

The County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, will discuss the recommendation and vote on the proposed regulation at a special session on Thursday, August 5.

For the latest COVID-19 County updates, visit the County’s website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCountyMD.

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Release ID: 21-598
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6507