COVID-19 cases rise 2.5% in Montgomery County in a day

COVID-19 cases rise 2.5% in Montgomery County in a day

County has changed how it determines progress on reopening benchmarks

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The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rose 2.5% in Montgomery County on Thursday to 12,226. The county also recorded another three confirmed deaths, bringing the total to 596.

There are also 40 “probable” deaths related to the virus in the county.

“Probable” deaths have coronavirus listed as the cause on death certificates but haven’t been confirmed by laboratory tests.

For the past two days, Montgomery County’s data dashboard, maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, has shown that the county was hitting six out of nine benchmarks for reopening. County officials have said they are looking at those benchmarks as they determine how quickly to ease restrictions.

County officials have said nine criteria had to be met or show substantial progress for 14 days. The number of criteria that had been met jumped from two, where it had been almost every day, to six from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Dr. Travis Gayles, the county’s health officer, told reporters during a media briefing Wednesday that the county has changed its methodology for how it determines whether progress has been made in a certain area.

Instead of comparing the three-day-rolling average from one day to the next, the county has started comparing one day’s three-day average to the three-day average 14 days ago, Gayles said.

The county updates its benchmark data by 2 p.m. each day. The data posted Wednesday afternoon were:

• Number of new confirmed positive cases each day: 188 (three-day average); 7 declining days out of the last 14

• Number of COVID-19 new deaths each day: 7 (three-day average); 11 declining days

• COVID-19-related hospitalizations: 291 (three-day average); 14 declining days

• Number of COVID-19-related emergency room patients: eight (three-day average); 14 declining days

• COVID-19-related intensive-care unit hospitalizations: 113 (three-day average); 14 declining days

• Acute care bed utilizations rate: 70% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 70% or less has been met two of the last 14 days

• Intensive Care Unit bed utilization date: 71% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 80% or less has been met 14 out of the last 14 days

• Percentage of ventilators in use: 55% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 70% or less has been met 14 out of the last 14 days

• Test positivity rate: 12% (three-day average); 14 declining days

As of Wednesday, the county was testing an average of 1,251 people, which is a three-day rolling average. The county has achieved 3.2% testing capacity in the last 30 days.

Across the state, there have been 55,858 confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday morning. There have been 2,546 confirmed deaths.

The state’s positivity rate is now 8.9%. A total of 392,240 tests have been conducted and 281,160 people have tested negative.

There are currently 1,096 COVID-19 patients in the hospital across the state. Of those, 640 are in acute care and 456 are in intensive care.

The breakdown of cases and deaths by race/ethnicity on Thursday was:

  • African Americans had 16,035 cases and 1,061 deaths
  • Whites had 10,898 cases and 1,071 deaths
  • Hispanics had 14,338 cases and 243 deaths
  • Asians had 1,057 cases and 99 deaths
  • People of other races had 2,783 cases and 32 deaths
  • Data were not available for 10,757 cases and 40 deaths

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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