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MoCo Slows Reopening Efforts as COVID-19 Cases Spike

Montgomery County officials said they will suspend efforts to change an executive order loosening some coronavirus-related restrictions amid a recent resurgence in cases.

Dr. Earl Stoddard, director of Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said at a virtual briefing Thursday that the county’s cases per 100,000 is the highest point since Aug. 2, increasing above the threshold of 10 per 100,000.

“We were preparing an update to our executive order this week that would have allowed for some additional activities, but we are putting that on pause while the public health team investigates this uptick in cases to see exactly what the cause in the uptick is,” Stoddard said, WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported.

County officials said it may have to reinforce restrictions on activities lifted over the summer if cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in the next few weeks.

“We might look at reducing outdoor dining to 25% of capacity from 50% of capacity,” said County Executive Marc Elrich, WRC reported.

As the most populous county in Maryland, Montgomery currently leads the state in coronavirus-related deaths with 820 and trails only Prince George’s County in the number of infections, according to state health department statistics.

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