Stricter COVID-19 guidelines on the way in Montgomery County


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — More COVID-19 related restrictions are on the way, as the situation worsens in Montgomery County and across the state of Maryland, county leader says.

As COVID-19 case counts trend upward, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich told reporters Wednesday that residents should prepare for stricter measures, not saying what restrictions or when they’ll be announced.

“This is a hard place to be in right now,” Elrich said in a press briefing Wednesday. “We’re not going to stop doing what we need to do to stop the spread of this virus. You will be seeing additional measures coming from the county.”

He believes new COVID-19 restrictions shouldn’t come as a surprise, saying, “This is everything people told us was going to happen and folks completely ignored it.”

Though we don’t yet know what exactly those new restrictions will be or when we will officially hear about them, the county’s chief health officer says some of those new measures being discussed would put the county in line with the restrictions of its neighbors.

“Social gatherings indoors could go from 25 people down to 10 people. Face coverings may be required even in outdoor settings, which would be comparable to the order in D.C. and what was recently put into place in Prince George’s County,” Dr. Travis Gayles said.

Two weeks ago, Montgomery County reported 13 cases per 100,000 residents. This week, it jumped to 25 cases per 100,000 residents. Other jurisdictions across the state are seeing even higher numbers.

Elrich says he had hoped Maryland Governor Larry Hogan would have issued stricter statewide guidelines earlier this week.

“Even though I differ with the Governor, I do understand the pressure he’s under. I wish he’d made another decision. I have hope that we will arrive in a different place,” said Elrich.

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