Montgomery County, Maryland, is planning additional testing events that will focus on ZIP codes that have seen a high number of coronavirus cases.
County Executive Marc Elrich said Wednesday that the county is currently focusing on spreading awareness about the continued need for face masks and social distancing, saying he believes the virus will remain an active presence for the foreseeable future.
“I believe this is going to stay with us for a while,” Elrich said. “It’s not going to go away any time soon, and we’re going to need to maintain the coverings and physical distancing.”
Elrich said he did not want to see Maryland added to the growing list of states that have seen a resurgence of cases in the last several weeks.
Health officer Dr. Travis Gayles said part of the county’s strategy for lowering the average number of new cases seen each day has been to increase testing in areas that have seen higher cases of COVID-19.
To that end, the county hopes to deploy pop-up testing sites in the 10 ZIP codes that have seen the highest rates of infection.
The first such site will be held in Takoma Park on Thursday at the Takoma Park Recreation Center. The site will be open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Gayles said they are expected to process around 400 tests throughout the day. Registration for that event closed Wednesday afternoon.
“We continue to provide the highest number of tests across the state,” Gayles said. “We have now tested 8% of our population, which is over 84,000 residents, and we have conducted almost 98,000 COVID tests over the last three months.”
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Gaithersburg to enter Phase 2 the week of July 6
Gaithersburg announced that they would be moving to Phase Two of reopening on the week of July 6, allowing more businesses and services to resume operations.
“We were encouraged by how smoothly our Phase 1 reopening went, and we appreciate our residents and guests adhering to safety protocols to protect both themselves and our staff,” said Acting City Manager Dennis Enslinger in a news release.
A full list of what will reopen during Phase Two of the town’s plan can be found on their website.