County’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations, other conditions continue to show improvement

County’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations, other conditions continue to show improvement

Montgomery’s known cases increase 3% in a day

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Montgomery County’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations, and other metrics, appear to be trending downward, according to a new data dashboard the county published on Wednesday.

The dashboard, which is updated daily, tracks the conditions that Dr. Travis Gayles, the county’s health officer, has set for reopening parts of the county. County Executive Marc Elrich said Wednesday during a media briefing that the county could potentially begin a partial reopening within the next week or two if some of the benchmarks show positive trends.

The data tracks three-day averages to determine trends because of some “outliers” in the data. The metrics also measure the number of days out of the last 14 that had improvement. The criteria must at least “show substantial progress” in order to move forward with a reopening, according to the county’s dashboard.

The status of the conditions as of Friday afternoon are:
● Number of new confirmed positive cases each day: 161 (three-day average); nine declining days out of the last 14
● Number of COVID-19 new deaths each day: 12 (three-day average); eight declining days
● COVID-19 related hospitalizations: 369 (three-day average); 11 declining days
● Number of COVID-19 related emergency room patients: 24 (three-day average); eight declining days
● COVID-19 related intensive-care unit hospitalizations: 124 (three-day average); eight declining days
● Acute care bed utilization rate: 74% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 70% or less has not been met over the last 14 days
● Percentage of ventilators in use: 53% (three-day average); 14 days of adequate capacity

The county has had a sustained decrease in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and the percentage of ventilators in use.

The data changed slightly from Wednesday when it was first posted. The three-day average of new confirmed positive cases each day decreased by 121. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations decreased by 14 over the three days. Intensive-care unit hospitalizations decreased slightly by three in the three-day average.

The acute bed utilization rate and percentage of ventilators in use both decreased by 1%.

There was a small increase in the number of coronavirus-related emergency room patients – an increase of six for the three-day average.

The county says it has met its conditions for:
● leveraging health care networks to provide testing to symptomatic and asymptomatic patients
● creating accessible testing options available across the county by using a diverse network of options, including health care providers, alternative test sites, mobile testing units, and others.

The county says it is making progress in:
● putting networks in place to achieve a testing capacity of 5% of the population per month
● sustained flattening or decrease in test positivity
● continuing current efforts and partnering with state-driven large-scale contact tracing efforts that will allow for contacting people who have tested positive within 24 hours upon receipt of results and identified contacts within 48 hours
● compiling and using data by race, gender, age and geographic location to inform policy decisions related to health outcomes
● ability to disseminate information, programming and policies that address the impact of social determinants of health on COVID-19 outcomes

As of Saturday morning, there are now 9,699 confirmed cases of the virus in Montgomery County – a 3% increase in a day, according to the Maryland Department of Health. More than 260 cases were added overnight.

There have been single-digit percentage daily increases in cases since May 2.

The number of deaths in the county increased by 12 since Friday, bringing the total death toll to 514. There have been 36 “probable” deaths in the county. Deaths are designated as “probable” when COVID-19 is reported as the cause but has not been confirmed by a laboratory test.

Montgomery County has the highest number of deaths in the state and the second highest number of confirmed cases behind Prince George’s County which has had 13,324 cases.

Across the state, there are now 45,495 known cases – an increase of 1,071 cases overnight. There have been 2,130 deaths from the virus and 113 “probable deaths.

More than 186,800 people have tested negative for the virus, and 3,283 people have been released from isolation.

Of the 1,320 patients who are currently hospitalized with the virus, 796 are in acute care and 524 are in intensive care. More than 7,800 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic.

The most cases, 8,425, have been found in people between the ages of 30 and 39. The most deaths, 971, have occurred in people aged 80 or older.

More men, 1,074, have died from the virus than women who account for 1,056 deaths. However, women have experienced more cases than men with 23,677 and 21,818, respectively.

African Americans have experienced the most cases, 13,527, and deaths, 891. Hispanics account for 11,035 cases and 187 deaths.

There have been 9,075 cases and 886 deaths among white people. In the Asian populations, there have been 873 cases and 81 deaths.

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at briana.adhikusuma@bethesdamagazine.com.

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