County Executive Marc Elrich provides COVID-19 update

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Ahead of the Board of Health vote on Thursday regarding reinstating indoor mask mandates, County Executive Marc Elrich provided an update on where the county stands in terms of becoming an area of substantial COVID-19 transmission.

Montgomery County’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are continuing to rise. The health department says the test positivity rate went from .4% on July 4 to 2% on August 4. Elrich said it’s best to get ahead of the problem, even if that means masking back up before the county has to resort to more aggressive measures.

 “I know no one wants to go back to wearing masks, but in the absence of, you know, 100% vaccination rate or something higher than where we are now masking is the best way to protect our health,” said Elrich.

Currently, 71.1% of the county is fully vaccinated, but the Delta variant and breakthrough cases have residents wondering if the county is ramping up testing efforts. Deputy Health Officer, Dr. James Bridgers, Jr. says the county is already prepared for this situation.

“When we started, we only had 34 and now we have enough to not only test but to provide those mobile testing capabilities that the county has seen a need… and so it’s an ongoing plan that we evaluate and that we revise,” said Bridgers.

Elrich also added that eventually, the county will call for all county employees to get vaccinated or tested regularly.

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