County Likely Avoids Reinstating Mask Mandate Tuesday

Montgomery County is likely to avoid reinstating an indoor mask mandate for now, as county data showed the jurisdiction re-entered moderate COVID-19 transmission Thursday.

County Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Earl Stoddard confirmed on Twitter that the county will avoid triggering the mandate assuming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates its numbers Friday to reflect that data. Stoddard said CDC data lags by about 30 hours and should show the county being in moderate transmission when it updates.

The Montgomery County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, voted unanimously this week to reinstate the indoor mask mandate if the county reaches seven straight days of CDC-defined substantial COVID-19 transmission, rather than one day as the board’s original regulation required.

If substantial COVID-19 transmission had continued through Friday, the indoor mask mandate would have been set to resume Tuesday, Nov. 9. But, because the county landed in moderate transmission Thursday, the seven-day countdown will reset, following CDC confirmation, and the mask mandate will not be reinstated Nov. 9.

Stoddard said the countdown will restart if the county re-enters substantial transmission again.

On Thursday, the county reported 49.49 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days and on Friday reported 49.97 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days. The CDC says moderate transmission is 10–49.99 new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days and substantial transmission is 50-99.99 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days.


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