Montgomery County has 2% increase in coronavirus cases in a day

Montgomery County has 2% increase in coronavirus cases in a day

County has met two benchmarks for reopening

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Montgomery County’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased about 2% on Tuesday to 10,291.

As of Monday, there were 10,111 known cases in the county.

State data released Tuesday show 531 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Montgomery County, up from 526 as of Monday.

Another 36 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.

The county still reports meeting two of seven benchmarks it established for reopening.

When Gov. Larry Hogan this month announced 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.

Officials are looking for two-week declines in the number of new confirmed cases, deaths, emergency room visits with COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalizations and intensive care hospitalizations. They also are watching for 14 straight days with less than 70% of the acute care beds and ventilators in use.

The county has been making progress on all benchmarks, with most showing at least 8 days of declining metrics. The only two that have been met are the percentage of ventilators in use and coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

However, the acute care bed use has been at 70% or less only one of the past 14 days, according to county data.

Over the past three days, Montgomery County has averaged 226 new cases of the coronavirus each day and eight new deaths, according to county data.

An average of 340 people have been hospitalized each of the past three days and approximately 17 people made trips to the emergency room with symptoms of the disease.

The county’s data dashboard is updated daily at noon.

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

County Executive Marc Elrich said last week 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 posted Monday afternoon were:

● Number of new confirmed positive cases each day: 226 (three-day average); eight declining days out of the last 14
● Number of COVID-19 new deaths each day: eight (three-day average); eight declining days
● COVID-19 related hospitalizations: 340 (three-day average); 11 declining days
● Number of COVID-19 related emergency room patients: 17 (three-day average); six declining days
● COVID-19 related intensive-care unit hospitalizations: 119 (three-day average); eight declining days
● Acute care bed utilization rate: 70% (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.

There have been 47,687 COVID-19 cases across the state as of Tuesday morning. There were 2,217 confirmed deaths and 116 “probable” deaths.

On Tuesday, there were 1,315 COVID-19 patients in the hospital in the state, which included 795 in acute care and 520 in intensive care.

The race and ethnicity breakdown for the number of cases is:
• African American (14,116 cases, 921 confirmed deaths)
• White (9,484 cases, 924 confirmed deaths)
• Hispanic (11,819 cases, 199 confirmed deaths)
• Asian (907 cases, 83 confirmed deaths)
• Other (2,317 cases, 30 confirmed deaths)
• Data not available (9,044 cases, 60 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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