The County Council, acting as the Board of Health, yesterday approved a revised regulation that continues the current indoor mask mandate until at least 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31.
The regulation requires masks to be worn indoors in any space in the county that is accessible to the public.
“The COVID-19 omicron variant has pushed Montgomery County and other areas of the country into an extended period of high COVID-19 transmission,” according to a press release. Dr. James Bridgers, acting health officer, therefore requested the council action.
“This is a public health marathon,” Council President Gabe Albornoz (D-At Large), said in the release. “We were all hopeful that vaccines would allow us to sprint across the finish line and discard our masks as we begin this new year, however this insidious, ever-evolving virus has shown us that we still have some more miles to go.”
The regulation also:
- Rescinded an earlier provision that would automatically terminate the mandate when 85 percent of the population becomes fully vaccinated
- Removed the requirement to end the mandate when the County drops into moderate transmission from higher levels, and
- Requires the Board of Health to meet every two weeks to review data on community transmission and consider whether the mandate should continue.
The amended regulation went into effect 12 a.m. today (Jan. 5).
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