Montgomery County builds new streak of daily COVID-19 increases less than 1%

Montgomery County builds new streak of daily COVID-19 increases less than 1%

County has had 15,727 cases and 721 confirmed deaths

| Published:
Coronavirus dept of health photo

Montgomery County has had five straight days in which its daily increase in COVID-19 cases has been less than 1%.

A longer streak — 23 straight days — was broken by a 1.1% increase on July 7.

The increase in cases, according to data posted Sunday, was 0.67% — from 15,623 to 15,727.

The Maryland Department of Health on Sunday reported that there have been 721 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Montgomery County, up two from Saturday.

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 Saturday, the county reported that eight of its 10 benchmarks were being met or showing “substantial progress.” The benchmarks were established to help guide the county in its plans for reopening.

The county entered its second phase of reopening on June 19. County Executive Marc Elrich said last week that 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 data are updated by 2 p.m. every day. The eight benchmarks that have been met or shown “substantial progress” as of Saturday are:
● Number of new COVID-19 related deaths: 2 (three-day average); 13 declining days
● COVID-19 related hospitalizations: 88 (three-day average); at least 14 declining days
● COVID-19 related intensive care unit hospitalizations: 31 (three-day average); at least 14 declining days
● Acute care bed utilization rate: 72% (three-day average); the county’s goal of 70% or less has been met for 13 of 14 days
● ICU bed utilization rate: 52% (three-day average); the county’s goal of 80% or less has been met for at least 14 days
● Percentage of ventilators in use: 28% (three-day average); the county’s goal of 70% or less has been met for 14 at least days
● Test positivity: 4% (three-day average); at least 14 declining days
● Test administered: 2,044 (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: 74 (three-day average); 6 declining days
● Number of COVID-19 related emergency room patients: 6 (three-day average); 9 declining days

Earlier this month, the county considered its benchmark for new confirmed cases to be met or have “substantial progress,” but it is worsening. For example, on July 1, the county reported it to be at 13 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 73,109 confirmed cases and 3,188 confirmed deaths from the virus, according to Sunday’s data. Nearly 808,000 tests have been administered, with a positivity rate of 4.45%.

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