MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — After Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) ordered the release of case data in Maryland’s nursing homes, Montgomery County stood out among Maryland’s other jurisdictions.
With more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 125 COVID-related deaths in it’s nursing homes and congregate living facilities, Montgomery County is being hit especially hard.
“If you look at those high volume facilities in Montgomery County, the overwhelming majority of these facilities designated as hot spots, with thirty or more cases, were from the very early stages back in late March and early April,” explains county health officer Dr. Travis Gayles.
He says a lot has changed since those cases were first reported, including guidelines and requirements for those working in these facilities.
“Our initial guidance was that if you were asymptomatic, you didn’t transmit the disease. So, we were not requiring folks to wear face masks or coverings, we weren’t requiring personal protective equipment when working with all patients. Now, as we found out more information, those strategies have been put into place,” said Dr. Gayles.
The two facilities with the highest number of cases in the county are Manor Care of Silver Spring with 79 cases and 15 deaths and Regency Care of Silver Spring with 80 cases and 10 deaths. Full data on nursing homes in the county and the state of Maryland can be found here.
Montgomery County has over 300 facilities that fall into the long-term care category, and Dr. Gayles says the high numbers need to be interpreted in context.
“In these facilities, you’ve got a highly vulnerable population with complicated medical histories. Age is a factor in a significant number of those cases,” said Dr. Gayles.