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County Moving Toward Moderate Transmission of COVID-19; Board of Health Regulation Cites Seven Consecutive Days of Moderate Before Indoor Mask Requirement Lifted

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Dr. James Bridgers, acting County health officer, notified the Montgomery County Council on Thursday, Oct. 21 that the County is in moderate transmission of COVID-19 based on CDC guidelines. This change means that the Board of Health regulation mandating indoor masks will be lifted if the County remains in moderate transmission for seven consecutive days. If the County’s rate of transmission increases to substantial transmission at any time during or after the seven days period, the countdown begins again. When the mask mandate is lifted, public facilities can lift the indoor mask mandate, but businesses also can continue to require customers to wear mask wearing in their establishments.

In early August, the Montgomery County Council, acting as the Board of Health, voted unanimously to require that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings indoors once Montgomery County became an area of “substantial transmission” of COVID-19. See Board of Health regulation19-975 for more detailed information.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommendation in July that jurisdictions with substantial or high transmission rates of COVID-19 should require that masks be worn indoors. The CDC defines substantial transmission as 50-99 cases per 100,000 residents over a period of seven days. 

“I appreciate the fact that Montgomery County residents understand that decisions we make are based on the best available science and data,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “I personally will continue to wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor settings because, along with being fully vaccinated, it is the best way of reducing the risk of the transmission of COVID-19. As a community, we have made vaccinations a priority and our work has paid off. According to the CDC, 90.6 percent of our eligible residents are fully vaccinated; but we need to continue to keep our eye on the ball so we can get beyond the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to bring our community through the recovery period.”

“As levels of community transmission of COVID-19 decrease, it is important to remember that we are coming up on flu and cold season, as well as winter months where we are indoors more, and everyone who is unvaccinated should continue wear a mask when around others is a good, basic public health practice that has been seen in other parts of the world for decades,” said Dr. Bridgers.

Visit the County’s COVID-19 data dashboard to review the latest metrics and key indicators. The dashboard is updated daily by 2 p.m. Find additional information on masks and transmission levels on the COVID-19 website. If you are not vaccinated, find free vaccination clinics at www.GoVAXMoCo.com. If you feel sick or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested. Find free testing clinics at www.MoCoCOVIDtesting.org

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

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Release ID: 21-866
Media Contact: Barry Hudson, 240-300-7348
Categories: Health, Public Safety