March 4, 2020

County Health Officials Monitoring Novel Coronavirus Situation; What You Can Do to Help Be Prepared

As federal officials continue to monitor the outbreak of respiratory illnesses caused by a new form of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China, County Executive Marc Elrich and County health and emergency management officials are coordinating efforts across agencies as well as with state officials and healthcare providers to ensure we are prepared for the situation as it evolves.

Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises state and local health departments to prepare for community spread of COVID-19. The County’s Department of Health and Human Services is working with partners, including the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, public safety agencies, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and hospitals to plan for a response should there be cases in Montgomery County.

Here is how the County has prepared:
  • Launched an internal emergency management group for coordination, enhanced monitoring and planning with partners and other local agencies.
  • Developed an action plan for incident management and surveillance for individuals at risk of infection.
  • Communicated with hospitals and healthcare providers to provide the latest information and guidance from the CDC.
  • Communicated and coordinated with MCPS to provide guidance to parents, teachers and staff.
  • Launched a COVID-19 website to update Montgomery County residents on the current situation. The website is updated regularly.
While the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low, here are some steps that residents should take to prepare:
  • Stay informed by using trusted sources for up-to-date information. The County’s website includes information on prevention techniques as well as links to the CDC and other resources.
  • Wash hands frequently throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Keep surfaces (especially bathroom surfaces and children’s toys) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
Residents are encouraged to visit the website and sign up for Public Health and Environmental Alerts for critical updates. Sign up for alerts (listed under Montgomery County Government Alerts) through the County’s Alert Montgomery notification system.

March is Women’s History Month

It is Women’s History Month! The Montgomery County Commission for Women invites residents to participate in its fourth annual Girl Power Contest. County residents ages 5 to 105 (or older) are encouraged to submit a short story, poem, or drawing that addresses the following question: As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, what barriers do you think still exist for women and girls and how can you help break them?

For more information and to submit contest entries, visit the Commission for Women website.

The Census Is Coming: Here is Important Information You Need to Know

The invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will begin arriving to households March 12. Here is some information you need to know about the census.

What is the Census?
Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States.

Why is the Census important?
  • Every year, the federal government allocates more than $675 Billion in funding based on census data.
  • Every Marylander not counted costs the state approximately $18,250 over 10 years.
  • Census data is used to plan schools, new homes and businesses, and improve neighborhoods.
Who needs to respond to the Census and is my information secure?
The census counts every household and person living in the U.S., this includes both citizens and non-citizens. The U.S. Census Bureau must keep all information confidential.

Action Plan Town Hall and Open House Sets Tone to Address Climate Emergency

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, County Council Vice President Tom Hucker and Councilmember Even Glass joined community members for a recent “Climate Action Plan Town Hall and Open House.” The event held at the United Therapeutics Corporate Headquarters in Silver Spring featured presentations—and 850 recommendations—from five County workgroups who have been studying issues and actions the County can take to reach its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. 

In 2017, the County approved a Climate Emergency Resolution with the goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035. The 150 members of the five workgroups are part of a planning process the County developed to prioritize actions and strategies to meet its GHG emission reduction goals and make the County more resilient to the impacts from climate change.

The workgroups were formed from a combination of volunteers with backgrounds and strong interests in energy and climate change and County staff that work on those issues. The workgroups focused on buildings; clean energy; transportation; public engagement and education and climate adaptation and sequestration.

Residents can review the recommendations and contribute comments at

The workgroup recommendations and the public feedback will help the County prioritize the actions for inclusion in a Climate Action and Resilience Plan to be issued in 2021.

Elrich Celebrates Read Across America Day with County Youth

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Will Jawando participated in National Education Association’s Read Across America Day, which is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. The Greater Washington Community Foundation organized Montgomery County’s celebration, which was held at the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center located at 11701 Georgia Ave.

Young County readers joined Elrich, Albornoz and more than 45 million readers, both young and old, from across the country to pick up a book and read. The event featured the children’s books “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” by New York Times best-selling author Mo Willems and Book Fiesta!,” which is the bilingual story of Children’s Day written by Pat Mora.

Get Ready to Vote in the Presidential Primary Election

The Presidential Primary Election Day will take place on Tuesday, April 28. To ensure you are ready to vote, you must register with a political party. The Maryland Board of Elections (BOE) website is the place to go, if you are looking to:
  • Register to vote in federal, state, county, and city elections in Maryland.
  • Request an absentee ballot.
  • Update your registration, if your name has changed or your address has changed.
  • Register from your phone, by texting ‘vote’ to 77788. Visit for more information.

Spring Forward Safely

It is hard to believe that daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8. As we are rolling the clock forward, it is important to be extra vigilant when driving or walking on the streets.

According to the Center for Disease Control it takes about one week for the body to adjust the new times for sleeping, eating, and activity. Until people are adjusted, people can have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up at the right time. This can lead to tired drivers and weary pedestrians and may lead to an increase in vehicle accidents.

If you're commuting in the early hours, note that your walk may now be darker. Stay alert! When crossing the street, you're in the danger zone. Motorists are also encouraged to be vigilant for pedestrians, particularly when light is limited.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue also reminds residents that when the time changes it is time to check the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Your home’s smoke alarms are the best way of notifying you and your family of a fire. State law requires that battery-operated smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years from the date of manufacture. The devices should also be tested at least once a month.

Registration Now Open for 2020 County Energy Summit on April 1-2 in Silver Spring

Registration is open for the seventh annual Montgomery County Energy Summit, which this year will expand to a two-day event on Wednesday, April 1, and Thursday, April 2, at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The Energy Summit, which previously focused solely on promoting commercial energy efficiency and the use of clean energy in the County and the rest of the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region, will use the expanded schedule to explore energy efficiency for both commercial buildings and residences.

The Summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

New for 2020 will be a second day of exploring energy in the residential sector. Topics will address energy needs for single-family and multifamily developers, building operators and Montgomery County residents.

Early bird tickets are $75 for entry to both days. Single-day tickets are $50 for Day 1 (commercial); $35 for Day 2 (residential). Early bird ticket sales end March 6 (or March 31 if the attendee is a government employee). Regular online ticket prices are available after March 6. For entry on both days, regular tickets are $100. Regular single-day tickets are $70 for Day 1 (commercial) and $50 for Day 2 (residential).

To register and for additional information, visit the event’s website at

Montgomery County Ranked One of the Most Culturally Diverse in the U.S.

Montgomery County’s rich cultural diversity is recognized by a 2020 WalletHub study, which ranked Gaithersburg as the nation’s second most culturally diverse city in the U.S. Germantown is ranked as the third, Silver Spring as the fifth and Rockville ranked seventh.

WalletHub took a snapshot of America’s current cultural profile, comparing more than 500 of the largest U.S. cities across three key metrics of ethnic diversity.

To view the WalletHub study, go to 2020's Most & Least Ethnically Diverse Cities in the U.S.

Montgomery County Government is Hiring!

Montgomery County Government (MCG) employs more than 10,000 people with more than 30 departments and agencies. Recruiters are always looking for applicants who are committed to innovation, integrity, and inclusiveness.

If you are looking for employment, you will want to check out the dozens of open positions in categories such as clerical/administrative, professional, management, health and human services and more. There are full-time and temporary/seasonal positions.

Visit the human resources website to view the open positions and get more information about learn how to apply.