Soon you may not have to wear a mask in indoor public settings in Montgomery County, Maryland, because the daily coronavirus case count is dropping.
In Montgomery County, the indoor mask mandate automatically ends when there have been seven days in a row with the county in moderate transmission.
Moderate transmission is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as when there are 10 to 49 new coronavirus cases per day on average in a seven-day period per 100,000 people.
Montgomery County is now sitting at just slightly over 52 cases per 100,000 residents, according to county data, and the county could dip below the 50-case threshold as early as Thursday.
The Montgomery County Council voted to reinstate a mask mandate in August requiring people in the county to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. That move came amid the uptick in cases driven by the delta variant. However, the legislation includes the automatic off-ramp when the county’s transmission levels return to lower levels.
“We’re likely to be in moderate range pretty soon,” County Executive Marc Elrich said during an online briefing with reporters Wednesday. “The way things are trending, it could come pretty soon.”
The case rate in Prince George’s County’s seven-day average total daily case rate remains at 74, according to the CDC county case rate tracker.
Prince George’s County’s indoor mask mandate was expanded earlier this month to include those ages 2 and up. The county’s mask mandate previously covered people down to age 5.
Overall, Maryland’s community transmission rate for COVID-19 is considered high by the CDC.
D.C.’s seven-day average total case rate is slightly over 91. The new indoor mask mandate in D.C. went into effect at the end of July.
All counties in Northern Virginia have similar transmission numbers to D.C.
Uptick in deaths
While the number of new coronavirus cases is dropping across the D.C. metro region, there has been a slight uptick in the number of people dying from coronavirus.
Virginia is now reporting about 45 deaths per day, up from about 30 per day last month.
But there are 600 fewer people in the state hospitalized with COVID-19, as compared to mid-September.
Over the past month, cases in Virginia are down nearly 50%. Cases in D.C. are down about 75% and they’re about 25% lower in Maryland.
Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID in Maryland remain unchanged from last month and they remain very low in the District.
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WTOP's Teddy Gelman contributed to this story.