Montgomery County took another step toward progress in its coronavirus pandemic recovery over the weekend by getting close to another of its reopening benchmarks.
The county is now listed as meeting or making significant progress on eight of its 10 benchmarks.
The latest benchmark to be considered met, or close to it, is the number of new confirmed positive cases each day.
Using a three-day rolling average, Montgomery County is at 137 new cases per day. The goal is to have “a sustained decrease” during a 14-day period, as testing increases.
In data posted Saturday afternoon, the county has had 12 out of 14 declining days in that category. That was enough to be considered significant progress. It had been at 10 declining days as of Friday afternoon, which was not considered close enough to count as met or significant progress.
The eight benchmarks that the county considers to be met or showing significant progress are:
● COVID-19 related hospitalizations: 224 (three-day average); 14 declining days
● Number of COVID-19 related emergency room patients: six (three-day average); 14 declining days
● COVID-19 related intensive-care unit hospitalizations: 79 (three-day average); 14 declining days
● ICU bed utilization rate: 65% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 80% or less has been met for 14 days
● Percentage of ventilators in use: 48% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 70% or less has been met for 14 days
● Test positivity: 10% (three-day average); 14 declining days
● Number of COVID-19 new deaths each day: five (three-day average); 13 declining days
● Number of new confirmed positive cases each day: 110 (three-day average); 12 declining days
The two benchmarks that haven’t been met are:
● Acute care bed utilization rate: 70% (three-day average); the county benchmark of 70% or less has been met for seven days
● Tests administered: 1,505 (three-day average); 3.8% testing capacity in the last 30 days (the county’s goal is to test 5% of its population each month)
Montgomery County has said it is using the benchmarks to help guide when it advances to further stages of reopening.
The county is now in phase 1, in which some restrictions have been eased. County Executive Marc Elrich has said he expects phase 2 to start this week, as long as the progress is not undone, but he has not given a date.
New data the state released Sunday morning show that Montgomery County now has had 13,607 coronavirus cases, up 0.5% from Saturday.
Montgomery County added four new confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 in Sunday’s data and has now had 651.
Another 39 deaths are considered “probable,” meaning COVID-19 is listed as the cause on a death certificate but it has not been proven through a laboratory test.
Across Maryland, there have been 61,701 cases of coronavirus, according to Sunday’s data. That’s an increase of 396 cases, or 0.6%, from Saturday.
There have been 2,811 confirmed deaths in Maryland.
The statewide positivity rate is 6.72%.