County Council to Vote on Fifth Amended Board of Health Regulation This Tuesday

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County Council to Vote on Fifth Amended Board of Health Regulation Tuesday

The Montgomery County Council will introduce, hold a public hearing, and vote on a 5th Amended Board of Health regulation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery County this Tuesday.

Montgomery County Maryland sent this bulletin at 04/23/2021 05:15 PM EDT

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 23, 2021—The Montgomery County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, is scheduled to introduce, hold a public hearing, and vote on a Fifth Amended Board of Health regulation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery County on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at 10:30 a.m.

Council President Hucker and Council Vice President Albornoz have proposed amendments to the current Board of Health regulation that would add guidance for reopening the County based on the percentage of the County population receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. Currently, 49 percent of the County population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. The three phases of reopening would be automatically triggered when the Montgomery County Health Officer reports the vaccination progress to the Board of Health.

The reopening would require continued face covering usage and social distancing. The phases would be:

1. At 50 percent of the population receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine:

  • gathering limits increase to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors;
  • businesses limited to 25 percent capacity move to 50 percent capacity if they do not sell or permit the consumption of food or drink;
  • camps can move to the gathering limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors;
  • escape rooms can allow 10 people per game;
  • museums and galleries may reopen touch exhibits;
  • malls may reopen pedestrian concourses and return tables and chairs inside; and
  • sports move to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors with a similar number of spectators.

2. At 60 percent of the population receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine;

  • gathering limits increase to 250 people indoors and no limit outdoors;
  • most businesses move to 75 percent capacity and may sell food and drink for consumption while seated;
  • camps can increase to gathering limits of 250 people indoors with no capacity limit outdoors and may permit campers from outside of Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia;
  • convention and banquet facilities are limited to 50 percent of the facilities maximum capacity per State restrictions;
  • cigar and hookah bars may permit smoking outdoors;
  • food service establishments may move to 75 percent of maximum capacity;
  • religious facilities may move to 75 percent of maximum capacity; and
  • sports may increase capacity for participants and spectators to 250 people indoors and no limit outdoors.

3. At 50 percent of the population being fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine all conduct and business in Montgomery County must follow any State or Maryland Department of Health requirements in place at the time.

Montgomery County follows the American Academy of Pediatrics face covering guidelines for sports including guidance that allows the removal of face coverings during vigorous outdoor exercise in high heat and high humidity conditions.

If the Montgomery County Health Officer finds that after reviewing community transmission metrics that continued reopening phases would be contrary to the public health, the Health Officer must report those concerns to the Board of Health and the continuation to the next phase must be suspended pending a hearing before the Board of Health.

The deadline to sign up for the public hearing is Monday, April 26 at 5 p.m. As soon as the Board of Health regulation is available it will be posted on the Council’s web page.

To sign up to testify, please click here. If you are not available for the public hearing but want to provide testimony to the Council you can do so by submitting written, audio or video testimony here.

More information can be found at the Montgomery County Council’s webpage at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council.

NOTE: During the Covid-19 state of emergency, the public is not able to be physically present in the Council Hearing Room. Residents who would like to call in to testify at a Council public hearing need to preregister on the Council’s web page at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/calendar.html. Once the public hearing sign up request form is submitted and the public hearing list is created, individuals will receive separate confirmation notifications that include the appropriate phone number to call for the public hearing.

Community members also have the option to provide audio, video and written testimony to the Council using a recently developed online testimony form on the Council’s web page which can be found at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/PHSignUp.html. The testimony provided with the online option carries the same weight as testimony given at a public hearing. Councilmembers consider all comments as part of their deliberations.

Comments and suggestions are welcome online at http://tinyurl.com/zrbwh5v; via email at county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov; by sending regular mail to County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. For information or to express an opinion call 240-777-7900.

The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM) on Xfinity channels 6 and 996, RCN channels 6 and 1056; and FiOS channel 30. Also available live via streaming through the Council website at http://tinyurl.com/z9982v8, Facebook Live (@MontgomeryCountyMdCouncil or @ConcejodelCondadodeMontgomery), or YouTube (@MoCoCouncilMD).

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