Public Hearing to Take Place This Tuesday on a Second Amended Board of Health Regulation to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 and Extend Indoor Masking Guidance

by Patrick Herron
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For Immediate Release: Friday, January 21, 2022

Council meets on Jan. 25 to introduce, hold a public hearing and vote on an amended Board of Health regulation 

The Montgomery County Council will meet virtually via Zoom as the Board of Health on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 to introduce, hold a public hearing and vote on a Second Amended Board of Health Regulation to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 and Indoor Masking Guidance in Montgomery County. The public hearing on the Second Amended Board of Health Regulation will be held at 11:30 a.m. The Council meeting will begin at 9 a.m. with public health updates.

Montgomery County’s current Board of Health regulation, which took effect on Jan. 5, 2022 at 12 a.m., continues indoor masking requirements at any location accessible to the public in Montgomery County until at least Jan. 31, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. In addition, the regulation requires the Council will meet as the Board of Health every two weeks to evaluate the public health data associated with community transmission of COVID-19 to determine if the indoor mask mandate should continue.

The COVID-19 omicron variant has pushed Montgomery County and other areas of the country into an extended period of high COVID-19 transmission.

The Second Amended Board of Health Regulation would continue the indoor masking requirements at any location accessible to the public in Montgomery County until Feb. 28, 2022 at 11:59 p.m., but the regulation would terminate before this date if the Public Health Officer notifies the Board of Health that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list the following three indicators as both below high levels and trending downward for seven consecutive days:

  • the number of cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days;
  • the test positivity rate; and
  • the COVID-related hospital bed utilization case rate.

If adopted by the Board of Health, the amended regulation would become effective on Jan. 26 at 12 a.m.

Students are still required to wear face coverings in schools based on requirements from the Maryland State Department of Education. Moreover, face coverings are still required on public transportation as required by the Transportation Security Administration.

The deadline to sign up for the virtual public hearing is Monday, Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. As soon as the Board of Health regulation is available it will be posted on the Council’s web page.

Residents can sign up to testify via Zoom 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.

The Council meeting is being conducted remotely via Zoom and will be televised live on County Cable Montgomery (Xfinity channels 6 and 996, RCN channels 6 and 1056; and FiOS channel 30). The meeting is 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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