Weekly increases in COVID-19 cases in county below 4% since mid-June

Weekly increases in COVID-19 cases in county below 4% since mid-June

Number of cases increased 3.6% this week

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This story was updated at 11:55 a.m. July 12, 2020, to correct statewide figures for cases, deaths and testing.

In the past week, the number of COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County has grown 3.6%

The weekly growth rate has remained below 4% since mid-June.

On Saturday, the county added 55 new cases of the virus, bringing the total to 15,623. A week ago, there were 15,082 cases.

The Maryland Department of Health on Saturday reported there have been 719 total deaths in Montgomery County, an increase of two from the day prior.

There have been 38 “probable” deaths from the virus. “Probable” deaths have the coronavirus listed as the cause on death certificates but haven’t been confirmed by laboratory tests.

As of Friday, the county reported that eight of its 10 benchmarks were being met or showing “significant progress.” The benchmarks were established to determine when the county would be ready to reopen.

The county entered its second phase of reopening on June 19. During a media briefing this week, County Executive Marc Elrich said the county is “going to be staying in Phase 2.” He would not elaborate on when it could advance to Phase 3, which would allow a further loosening of restrictions.

The eight benchmarks that have been met or shown “substantial progress” are:

● Number of new COVID-19 related deaths: 1 (three-day average); 13 declining days
● COVID-19 related hospitalizations: 92 (three-day average); at least 14 declining days
● COVID-19 related intensive care unit hospitalizations: 32 (three-day average); at least 14 declining days
● Acute care bed utilization rate: 69% (three-day average); the county’s goal of 70% or less has been met for at least 14 days
● ICU bed utilization rate: 51% (three-day average); the county’s goal of 80% or less has been met for at least 14 days
● Percentage of ventilators in use: 29% (three-day average); the county’s goal of 70% or less has been met for 14 at least days
● Test positivity: 5% (three-day average); at least 14 declining days
● Test administered: 1,695 (three-day average); the county is reporting that it has 4.5% testing capacity in the last 30 days; the county’s goal is 5%

The two benchmarks that haven’t been met are:

● Number of new confirmed cases: 79 (three-day average); six declining days
● Number of COVID-19 related emergency room patients: six (three-day average); eight declining days

Montgomery County also reports its progress in other areas that are not considered benchmarks, but are additional guidelines.

The county reports having met criteria in:

● leveraging health care networks to provide testing to symptomatic and asymptomatic people.
● making testing options accessible across the county.
● flattening or decreasing test positivity.
● continuing partnerships with state officials to provide large-scale contact tracing efforts.

The county reports making progress toward:

● establishing testing networks to offer “high throughput testing.”
● compiling and using data by race, gender, age and geographic location to inform policy decisions.
● the ability to disseminate information that addresses the impact of COVID-19 on different demographics.

Statewide, there have been 72,467 confirmed cases and 3,179 deaths from the virus. Nearly 787,000 tests have been administered, with a positivity rate of 4.6%.

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