Montgomery County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has fallen below 1% this month for the first time since the pandemic started in March 2020.
The rate was 0.9% Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and 0.8% on Thursday, according to data from the county’s Department of Health and Human Services.
On March 29, 2020, the first day the county began recording data on the positivity rate, it was 17.7%. It then rose to more than 30% in April 2020, although at that point the county was conducting fewer COVID-19 tests than it is now.
The rate eventually fell to below 3% in August 2020, before increasing during the fall months and peaking at 8% on Jan. 7. The rate has fallen steadily since then as the number of cases and deaths per day has decreased.
Montgomery County has had 70,971 cases of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, and added 13 new cases on Saturday.
The county added three confirmed deaths from the virus on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 1,558.
There have been an additional 51 “probable” deaths, meaning COVID-19 is listed as the cause but it was not confirmed with a laboratory test.
As of Friday, all but one of the indicators that Montgomery County uses to measure the severity of the pandemic were listed as “low risk” or “very low risk.” The one indicator listed as “high risk” was the percent change in cases per 100,000 residents during the past seven days compared to the previous week.
The latest data available from the county on Saturday morning showed:
• COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 people: 2.3
• Test positivity rate: 0.8%
• Percent change in new cases per 100,000 people over the past week compared to the previous week: +17.4%
• Percentage of hospital beds occupied: 67.3%
• Percentage of intensive care unit beds occupied: 67.7%
• Percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients: 2.9%
As of Friday, the county was reporting that 53.2% of residents were fully vaccinated and 63.3% were partially vaccinated. County officials have consistently cited higher vaccination numbers during weekly briefings that are based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.