Montgomery Co. mask mandate to return Wednesday unless Board of Health intervenes

Montgomery County, Maryland, has regressed to a rate of substantial virus transmission, which triggers a mask mandate under the current guidelines. The county’s mandate will return Wednesday, unless the Board of Health intervenes beforehand, a county health official said.

Acting county health officer Dr. James Bridgers sent the official notification to the Montgomery County Council. The notification confirmed that the county regressed to “substantial transmission” based on guidance from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC defines substantial transmission as 50-99 cases per 100,000 residents over a period of seven days. As of Friday, there were just over 50 cases per 100,000 residents in the county over a seven day period.

The county returned to the higher rate of transmission on Friday, but Bridgers said he was waiting until the CDC released their official virus numbers for the county before notifying the council of the change.

Unless the council, acting as the Board of Health, intervenes and modifies the established rules determining how the mandate is triggered, the mandate will resume on Nov. 3 at 12:01 a.m. However, the council meets Tuesday, and is expected to discuss amending the health regulation to avoid frequent shifts in mask policy.

The county spent one day in the “moderate transmission” range before higher-than-average Thursday and Friday case numbers drove the average number of cases back into the “substantial range.”

WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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