Gayles Advises Caution as County Readies Transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Montgomery County has currently tested more residents than any other jurisdiction in the state, according to a recent video from the county’s Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles, who offered insight into testing measures, plans moving forward and the need to stay vigilant. 

“One of the key measures that we are looking at in terms of how we move forward is how many new cases we find and what our test positivity rate is,” Dr. Gayles said in a video Tuesday.

Dr. Gayles addressed the correlation between more testing and a higher number of cases, but he added that the percentage of positive cases continues to decrease in Montgomery County. 

“We’ve tested approximately 5.3 [percent] of our population, which is equivalent to about 63,000 tests,” Dr. Gayles said. 

Amid the county’s growing protests, newly opened businesses and increased human contact, Dr. Gayles also emphasized the need for safe measures, including staying at home as much as possible, wearing face coverings and minimizing person-to-person contact.

“Now as we think about moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2, that’s significant because we’re introducing a lot of activities which would increase your potential for coming into contact with others,” Dr. Gayles said. 

Regardless of the percentage of positive cases continuing to decrease, Dr. Gayles said the county needs to see continued improvements in metrics and measures in order to move to the next phase. 

As the community introduces more activities and opportunities, Dr. Gayles still wants the county to minimize the presence of the virus. 

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About Shauneen Miranda

Shauneen Miranda is currently an intern at Montgomery Community Media. She is studying journalism with a concentration in sociology at the University of Maryland.

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