Montgomery County reports lowest COVID-19 test positivity, case rate in Maryland

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County has the lowest COVID-19 test positivity rate and the lowest case rate per 100,000 residents in the state of Maryland.

Fewer than 2 percent of all COVID-19 tests in the county are coming back positive, with the positivity rate sitting at 1.9 percent, according to the county’s Department of Health and Human Services. The case rate per 100,000 residents sits at 4.4, while the statewide average is more than double that number.

It’s all good news for Montgomery County, but residents have to rely on vaccination metrics to move the county’s reopening plan forward.

Those low numbers come as nearby Virginia and Washington, D.C. both announce plans to reopen sooner than Montgomery County.

As of Monday morning, about 55 percent of Montgomery County residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Based on the current plan, the next phase of restriction rollbacks starts when that number hits 60 percent.

On Monday, WDVM’s Randi Bass asked county health officials if there are any plans for speeding up Montgomery’s timeline.

“So, there isn’t an immediate discussion regarding accelerating any of our strategies. Again, we take a measured approach. We monitor the data on a daily basis,” said Dr. James Bridgers, the county’s deputy health officer, during a Zoom briefing.

On Monday, Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz hinted at changing guidelines for local graduation ceremonies.

“We passed our ordinance regarding graduations prior to the announcement of the new three-phase approach. So, we want to make sure it congruent with that order,” he said.

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