Recently, we received encouraging news – vaccines will soon start to be delivered in Montgomery County and around the nation. However, they will not be available for the general population right away. The quantity is limited and the State will be prioritizing the distribution, but it is certainly a promising step.
While we wait for the vaccine, the number of new cases of COVID-19 continues an alarming rise, as you can see from this chart below and on our website. https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/data/
|Seven-day average number of new confirmed cases per 100k residents|
Until the vaccine is widely available, the only power we have is to control our own behavior. That is why yesterday, I sent a new Executive Order to the County Council that prohibits indoor dining, limits indoor sports to 10 people and restricts capacity at retail establishments of one person per 200 square feet up to 150 people. If approved by the Council, the order will take effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Even as we increase restrictions in Montgomery County, COVID knows no boundaries. That is why yesterday I joined the county executives of the seven largest counties in Maryland and the mayor of the City of Baltimore to call for a united effort to stop the spread. We have been in regular contact throughout this pandemic as we work to protect the health of all our residents.
I know these increased restrictions are especially hard on our businesses, and I urge you to support them as much as possible. Even though indoor dining is not allowed, outdoor dining, carryout and delivery are still permitted. And I can’t emphasize enough that these restrictions are the only tools we have to keep us all safe until the vaccines are widely available.
Amidst these very difficult times, and as we head toward the shortest day of the year, I wanted to offer a chance for you to share a photo of winter decorations that have made you smile or brightened your day. We have set up a website for you to submit your photos. Go to https://forms.montgomerycountymd.gov/f/holiday and we will be accepting them through Dec. 18.
Today is International Human Rights Day and it is a reminder to recommit ourselves to ensuring basic human rights right here and elsewhere: a right to a roof over our heads, to have food for our families, access to health care, freedom from persecution and the right to our own beliefs. I wanted to share this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the committee drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."