Here's a look at the progress Montgomery County is making toward reopening

Data show Montgomery County making progress toward reopening

State figures show number of coronavirus cases in county up 2% Wednesday

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Montgomery County saw slight improvements on Tuesday in five of seven benchmarks it is using to measure when it can begin reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The three-day averages for the numbers of new confirmed cases, deaths, overall hospitalizations, emergency room visits and intensive care hospitalizations were all down slightly compared to Monday.

When Gov. Larry Hogan this month announced that the state was ready to begin its first phase of reopening, local officials said Montgomery County was not ready. They established benchmarks the county needs to reach before loosening restrictions.

The data track 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” to move forward with reopening, according to the county’s dashboard.

The county reports having met two of the seven benchmarks: COVID-19 related hospitalizations and percentage of ventilators in use.

County officials also are watching for 14 straight days with less than 70% of the acute care beds and ventilators in use, two benchmarks that showed no change from Monday to Tuesday. The data is updated at about noon each day.

The data posted Tuesday afternoon were:
● Number of new confirmed positive cases each day: 197 (three-day average); nine declining days out of the last 14
● Number of COVID-19 new deaths each day: six (three-day average); eight declining days
● COVID-19 related hospitalizations: 337 (three-day average); 11 declining days
● Number of COVID-19 related emergency room patients: 16 (three-day average); six declining days
● COVID-19 related intensive-care unit hospitalizations: 118 (three-day average); eight declining days
● Acute care bed utilization rate: 71% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 70% or less has been met for 1 of the last 14 days
● Percentage of ventilators in use: 52% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 70% or less has been met for 14 straight days.

As of Wednesday morning, Montgomery County had 10,467 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County, an increase of about 2% from Tuesday, according to state data.

Data show 535 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Montgomery County, up from 531 on Tuesday.

Another 37 patients had been ruled as “probable” COVID-19 deaths, meaning the virus is the suspected cause of death but it was not confirmed by a laboratory test.

There have been 48,423 confirmed coronavirus cases across the state as of Wednesday morning. There were 2,270 confirmed deaths and 122 “probable” deaths.

On Wednesday, there were 1,338 COVID-19 patients in the hospital in the state, which included 818 in acute care and 520 in intensive care.

The race and ethnicity breakdown for the number of cases is:
• African American (14,217 cases, 941 confirmed deaths)
• White (9,575 cases, 944 confirmed deaths)
• Hispanic (11,956 cases, 204 confirmed deaths)
• Asian (917 cases, 85 confirmed deaths)
• Other (2,341 cases, 27 confirmed deaths)
• Data not available (9,417 cases, 69 confirmed deaths)


For other Bethesda Beat coverage of the coronavirus, click here.

To see a timeline of  major coronavirus developments in Maryland and Montgomery County, click here

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