2021 | Coronavirus

Positivity rate continues to drop, but Montgomery County still in ‘substantial transmission’

County has reported more than 100 new cases 10 of last 11 days

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Montgomery County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate is continuing to decline, while consistently having more than 100 new cases per day.

As of Sunday, the county’s Department of Health and Human Services reported a seven-day average positivity rate of 2.4%. Last week, it was 2.6%.

It has been dropping since Aug. 30, when it was 3.6%, its highest level since February.

The county considers any positivity rate below 5% to be low transmission. The county has been below 5% since February.

But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers both positivity rate and new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days to calculate community transmission.

The CDC currently considers Montgomery County to be a source of “substantial” risk of transmission.” The county has been at that level for most of the past several weeks.

From Aug. 29 to Sept. 6, the county was considered a source of “high” risk of transmission, the highest label the CDC uses for the spread of the coronavirus.

Hospitalizations remain lower than at earlier points in the pandemic, but the county’s health department reported, as of Friday, that 8.8% of hospital beds countywide were being used by COVID-19 patients. That is labeled “moderate utilization,” a category the county has been in since Aug. 9.

On Sunday, the county reported 102 new cases of COVID-19. For 10 of the past 11 days, the county has reported more than 100 cases. The exception was on Sept. 15, when 97 new cases were reported.

The county also reported four new deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday and none on Sunday, bringing the total death toll to 1,618 since the pandemic began.

As of Sunday, the CDC reported that 74.7% of the county’s population was fully vaccinated. Of the county’s eligible population — ages 12 and older — 88.1% percent was fully vaccinated. And of those 65 years or older, 95.4% was fully vaccinated.