Montgomery Co. to vote next week on extending mask mandate through end of February

Montgomery County, Maryland, lawmakers are set to vote next week on extending the indoor mask mandate through the end of February.

Montgomery County, Maryland, lawmakers are set to vote next week on extending the indoor mask mandate through the end of February.
The indoor mask mandate is at present set to expire Jan. 31.
The Montgomery County Council, sitting because the board of well being, will maintain a public listening to on the mask mandate at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday earlier than the anticipated vote.
The proposal comes because the county continues to be seeing a really excessive quantity of COVID-19 circumstances pushed by the extra infectious omicron variant, though county knowledge additionally reveals the transmission fee dropping precipitously from a peak earlier this month. Hospitalizations within the county stay excessive in contrast to earlier surges, however are additionally dropping sharply.
Under the proposal earlier than the council now, masks can be required in indoor public areas till Feb. 28, however the mandate would end early if COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations proceed falling.
A information launch on the council web site says the info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention knowledge monitoring the COVID-19 case fee, check positivity fee and hospitalization utilization within the county would have to fall beneath “excessive” ranges and stay trending downward for seven consecutive days.

The quantity of circumstances per 100,000 residents prior to now seven days, which is at present 917, would have to fall beneath 100;
The check positivity fee, which is at present 15%, would have to fall beneath 10%; and
The share of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 sufferers, which is at present 28%, would have to drop beneath 15%.

The county’s mask mandate has been a supply of rivalry and confusion prior to now. Under a board of regulation, authorised by the council late final summer season amid the delta surge, the county’s mask mandate was additionally tied to the county’s case fee, which noticed the mask mandate “see-saw” on and off.
Under a later model of the board of well being regulation, which was additionally rescinded, the mask mandate would have been dropped as soon as 85% of the county’s complete inhabitants of greater than 1 million was absolutely vaccinated — a milestone the county reached this week.
Earlier this week, council members in neighboring Prince George’s County prolonged its indoor mask mandate to March 9.
D.C.’s mask mandate, issued by Mayor Muriel Bowser, is ready to expire Jan. 31.
The county council can also be set to proceed dialogue Tuesday on a “vaccine passport” measure that might require eating places, bars and health facilities to verify prospects’ vaccine playing cards earlier than they will enter the premises.
In a listening to earlier this week, a quantity of enterprise teams pushed again on the proposal, saying it can place an undue burden on companies, could lead on to clashes with prospects and wouldn’t do a lot to encourage vaccination since already 95% of the county’s inhabitants have already obtained one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The measure, which is modeled on the same COVID-19 vaccine requirement in D.C., is strongly supported by County Executive Marc Elrich, who referred to as it a common sense method to ensure companies function safely.
In an interview Friday on WAMU’s “Politics Hour” broadcast, Council President Gabe Albornoz indicated he was leaning towards voting “no.”
“For me, in the intervening time, the juice just isn’t well worth the squeeze,” Albornoz mentioned, including, “I believe given our excessive vaccination charges and the way profitable we’ve been, total, I believe we’d like to take a wait-and-see method, and likewise see how this works out with the District of Columbia.”

More Coronavirus information

Looking for extra info? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are every releasing extra knowledge on daily basis. Visit their official websites right here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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