Montgomery County Reviews Its COVID-19 Metrics As It Considers Reinstating Indoor Mask Mandate

Excerpts below from the Bethesda Magazine article ‘County eyes COVID-19 metrics as it considers reinstating indoor mask mandate‘ (July 30, 2021).

County Executive Marc Elrich and Dr. Travis Gayles, the county’s health officer, have recommended that the County Council reinstate a mask mandate indoors if COVID-19 cases continue to rise countywide.

Elrich and Gayles said in a news release on Friday that a mandate should be reinstated if the county sees “substantial transmission” of the coronavirus in the coming weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines substantial transmission as 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 residents for seven days.

Given Montgomery County’s population of about 1.05 million, that equates to roughly at least 75 new cases per day, or 525 new cases over a seven-day period, the press release said. If that threshold is met, an indoor mask requirement for all residents, vaccinated or unvaccinated, should be reinstated, Elrich and Gayles said.

Earl Stoddard, an acting assistant chief administrative officer for the county, said that while vaccination rates are high countywide, there are still hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated residents. That’s why he, Gayles and other health officials have recommended an indoor mask mandate if case levels reach the threshold.