It’s official: Montgomery County’s mask mandate for indoor public places — reimposed in late summer amid a surge in coronavirus cases driven by the delta variant — will lift Thursday.
It’s official: Montgomery County, Maryland’s mask mandate for indoor public places — reimposed in late summer amid a surge in coronavirus cases driven by the delta variant — will lift Thursday.
On Wednesday, the county marked its seventh consecutive day of “moderate” community transmission of the virus, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That means the county will lift its indoor mask mandate at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Under the board of health regulation adopted by the county in August, the indoor mask mandate was set to automatically phase out after seven days of moderate or lower transmission. The CDC defines moderate or lower as below 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.
Going forward, businesses can still require patrons to wear masks indoors, and masks will still be required in schools and on public transportation.
Unvaccinated people are also still recommended to wear face coverings.
County Executive Marc Elrich thanked residents for their vigilance and continued to urge caution as, even with the lower rates, there is still community spread of the virus, pointing to one death, three hospitalizations and 67 new cases on Wednesday alone.
COVID-19 is “definitely not over and we shouldn’t act like it is; that would only put more people needlessly at risk,” Elrich said during an online news briefing. “I want to thank everyone for the vigilance and adherence to our guidance and that it’s allowed us to get back to moderate transmission.”
He added, “There’s no secret sauce in Montgomery County — basically, we had a set of rules that kept people safe and people took those rules seriously.”
This story will be updated.
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