The county’s COVID–19 indoor mask mandate has been lifted, as of 12:01 a.m. today, Oct. 28, officials announced.

James Bridgers, the county’s acting health officer, officially notified the County Council yesterday that the county had achieved a “moderate” rate of COVID-19 transmission—fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people per day for seven consecutive days.

That triggered a provision of an Aug. 5 Board of Health regulation, automatically lifting the mandate.

“The lifting of our indoor mask mandate is a significant achievement for Montgomery County and its residents,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a press release.

“We got here because the people and businesses of this County accepted and adhered to the guidance we provided. Even though the mandate has been lifted, I will continue to wear a mask indoors...

...and while in crowded outdoor settings because wearing a mask, as well as being fully vaccinated, are the best ways to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.”

The mandate could be implemented again should the transmission rate increase to “substantial” levels—50 to 100 new cases per day per 100,000 population.

Individual businesses may still require customers to wear masks, and they retain the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing one.