BETHESDA, MD — Montgomery County added 134 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the sixth day in a row with more than 100 cases.
The addition pushes the local total to 25,281 — and it's giving health officials pause as they cautiously plan their next steps.
The county, which is currently in phase two of its pandemic recovery plan, has typically reopened at a slower rate than the rest of the state due to higher COVID-19 numbers. Health officials say the county will not enter phase three until they see low and medium transmission levels — or 10 to 35 cases a day. Over the last three months, daily COVID-19 cases have hovered between 47 and 171.
The county's head of emergency management, Earl Stoddard, recently said the county planned to issue an amended executive order that would lift restrictions on escape rooms, live performances, and youth sports activities. But they put the changes on hold as they investigate the recent uptick in cases.
Despite seeing an increase in cases, Stoddard said the county won't be imposing more phase two restrictions — at least just yet. If the upticks persist for a few more weeks, he said officials will seriously consider rollbacks.
Unlike case totals, the number of people dying daily from COVID-19 in recent months has been between zero and five.
On Monday, the county did not record any new deaths. The death toll remains at 827.
The latest fatality count does not include the 40 others whose deaths were linked to the virus, but never confirmed by a lab test. For now, they are considered "probable deaths."
Montgomery County has the second highest number of deaths and cases in the state, after Prince George's County, which has 830 fatalities and 32,292 infections, according to the latest figures.
Across Maryland, there have been 140,844 cases, 3,953 confirmed deaths, and 146 "probable deaths." Of the 456 people that are currently hospitalized, 112 are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).