Montgomery County Meets Seven Of Nine Reopening Benchmarks

Alessia Grunberger

BETHESDA, MD — Montgomery County has met seven of its nine benchmarks to begin reopening, according to data released Sunday.

The county, which is home to roughly 1.1 million residents, has reached its 14-day benchmarks for:

  • The rate at which ICU beds are being used (goal is less than 80 percent)
  • The rate at which ventilators are being used (goal is less than 70 percent)
  • The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations
  • The number of coronavirus-related emergency room patients
  • The number of coronavirus-related ICU hospitalizations
  • The test positivity rate
  • The number of new coronavirus-related deaths (newest benchmark met)

To meet these benchmarks, health officials say the county must see 14 days of fewer cases, deaths, hospitalizations, patients, and tests on a three-day rolling average. The data calculates a three-day rolling average because of potential outliers, like the occasional 24-hour spikes in the aforementioned metrics.

To date, the county has 12,734 confirmed coronavirus cases and 617 deaths, according to the Maryland Department of Health. That's an increase of 100 cases and three deaths from the previous day.

Another 39, health officials believe, may have had COVID-19, but died without ever getting tested. "Probable deaths" aren't included in the official fatality count until they are confirmed by a laboratory test.

Maryland's most populous jurisdiction continues to have the highest number of deaths in the state. It also has the second highest number of confirmed cases, after Prince George's County, which has 16,434, according to the latest figures.

The two hard-hit counties opted out of reopening with the rest of the state last month because the number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations were not plateauing. They both entered phase one of their respective reopening plans on June 1.

Most parts of the state reopened on May 15, after Gov. Larry Hogan said he saw a 14-day decline in cases and hospitalizations.

As of Sunday, Maryland has 57,973 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,625 deaths. Another 124likely died from the disease and never got tested, according to state data.

There are 1,003 coronavirus patients currently hospitalized in Maryland. Of that, 404 are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Here's how many cases have been recorded in each county, as of Sunday. Montgomery County is outlined in bright blue:

Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Health

This article originally appeared on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch