County officials discuss state contact tracing data

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Montgomery county has officially reached 750 deaths from the coronavirus as of Friday, and county officials are warning the public to not get comfortable as contact tracing data is studied.

In a weekly media briefing, County Executive Marc Elrich referenced the state’s recent data on contact tracing. Showing among the COVID-19 positive individuals surveyed, 44% attended a family gathering and 23% attended a house party.

“This is not something totally new, not something that we didn’t expect to find, but now you’re getting data from the contact tracing that confirms that,” Elrich said. “So we continue to urge people to have the smallest social gatherings. Don’t plan to invite 50 people over if you don’t need to invite 50 people over.”

Director at the Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security Dr. Earl Stoddard said people should still be wary around people outside as 21% of surveyed cases were associated with outdoor gatherings.

“Just because a gathering is outdoors does not make it automatically safe,” Stoddard said. “That’s why we have a restriction of total gathering size that is not shared around the state and we firmly believe that’s one of the reasons why our cases have not been as high as other jurisdictions in the state over recent days.”

Under Montgomery County’s 2nd phase of reopening, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 50 people while wearing face coverings and social distancing.

Officials say they are continuing to keep a close eye on the numbers and are examining any adjustments they might need to make moving forward.

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