2021 | Coronavirus

Elrich criticizes state reopening as COVID-19 cases rise

127 new cases of virus and four confirmed deaths reported Thursday in Montgomery County

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Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said Wednesday that the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the state was “predictable” but “avoidable” after Gov. Larry Hogan lifted capacity limits at many indoor and outdoor facilities, including restaurants and retail stores.

“The question I have for the governor is, at what point do you look at the data and make a different decision, or have we made the decision that no matter where these numbers go, we’re going to continue to stay open and hope people get vaccinated?” Elrich said during a news conference on Wednesday. “… It seems a shame to have gone 13 months with some level of discipline, then make major decisions to open things up without the people being adequately vaccinated.”

Elrich said easing restrictions gives people a “false sense of well-being.”

Montgomery County on Thursday reported 127 new cases of COVID-19 and four confirmed deaths.

After five days in which the county had no increase in COVID-19 deaths, there were four new deaths on Wednesday and four more on Thursday.

There have been at least 100 new COVID-19 cases for seven of the last nine days.

After about two months of consistent decreases in the seven-day average of cases per 100,000 residents, there has been a slight increase during the last three weeks.

But the 14-day average test positivity remains low.

There have been 66,831 confirmed cases of the virus in the county and 1,430 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

On Thursday, 1,584 new cases were reported across the state. There have been 8,118 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Maryland.

In Maryland, about 1.7 million people (29%) have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. About 1 million people (16%) are fully vaccinated.

In Montgomery County, 333,017 residents (31.7%) are partially vaccinated, and 179,340 (17.1%) are fully vaccinated.

Hogan was scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss COVID-19.