March 31, 2021

COVID-19 Update: Vaccine Preregistration Now Open to All County Residents 16-and-Over; Mass Vaccination Center Now Open

Montgomery County has opened preregistration at County-operated COVID-19 vaccine centers to all County residents 16-and-over. To register for a County-operated center go to More vaccines have become available, so the County has opened a mass vaccination site on the campus of Montgomery College in Germantown.

As more vaccines come into Maryland, residents also can continue to preregister for State mass vaccination clinics online or by calling 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829). Residents are encouraged to preregister with the State and with the County—and advised to take the first vaccination appointment they are offered at any clinic.
A new vaccine center is now open in the County. It is the mass vaccination center on the campus of Montgomery College in Germantown. The County is operating the vaccine center through Wednesday, April 7. It is expected that the State will convert the site to a Maryland mass vaccination center beyond that date. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced last week that a State mass vaccination site will open at the Germantown campus starting next week. He did not establish a date that will happen. The site will be managed by the State and vaccinations will be available to all Marylanders.

Free Ride-On bus shuttle service is operating from the Shady Grove Metro station to the vaccination site at Montgomery College in Germantown. The service was established by the direction of County Executive Marc Elrich. Buses will run every 15 minutes from 8:30 a.m. until 30 minutes after the last vaccination (approximately 5 p.m.). Pick up the shuttle on the east side of the Shady Grove Metro. Buses will be marked “Vaccination Shuttle.”

The Germantown site replaces the County-operated site that had been at Quince Orchard High School. That site had to be closed as students have returned to classrooms around the County. Residents who received a first dose of a vaccine at Quince Orchard, but did not yet receive a second vaccine, will get that second dose at Montgomery College.

The County-operated vaccination site at Richard Montgomery High School also has closed. That clinic has moved to the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center.

As of Thursday morning, approximately one-third of all County residents have received at least one vaccine. State statistic shows more than 340,700 County residents (32.5 percent) have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. There are more than 185,700 fully vaccinated County residents (17.7 percent).

While the number of people being vaccinated is increasing daily, the average number of County residents with confirmed positive COVID-19 cases has also increased since 2021 low points in mid-March. COVID hospital bed-use rates are beginning to rise as well. See details on the County COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Residents who have received at least their first vaccination can help others by canceling their preregistration for a County-run clinic. Completing the form will remove a person from the preregistration list.

As more residents are vaccinated, others have become more lenient about getting tested for the virus. However, it is still important to get tested because that helps health officials track the spread of COVID-19 in the community. There are free testing clinics every week throughout the County. Find a complete schedule of upcoming clinics at

County Buses to Continue Free Service Through At Least June 30, But Will Resume Front-Door Boarding on April 5

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has directed the County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) to continue free service on all Ride On, Ride On extRa and Flash buses at least through the end of the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30. Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, MCDOT has been operating its bus operations with fare collections suspended and was one of the first agencies in the country to implement this policy.

“Many of our residents who rely on public transportation have been severely impacted economically by the pandemic, and we must continue to do everything we can to assist them to move around the County and region,” said County Executive Elrich. “As our residents will need bus service to receive vaccines that become more readily available over the next few months, I am pleased that we will be extending free Ride On bus service until the end of June. The County Council and I are on the same page and understand how important this free service is to our residents during this difficult time. I also want to acknowledge that this decision was assisted by the funds we are receiving from the American Rescue Plan, and I want to reiterate our appreciation to President Biden and our Congressional Delegation for this support. We encourage residents to utilize this service as a safe, environmentally friendly and free way to get around the County.”

Ride On buses will have one change in service starting Monday, April 5, as MCDOT will resume front-door boarding. Only the rear doors have been used for boarding for most passengers since March of last year in response to the health crisis. Front-door boarding will resume on all Ride On and Ride On ExtRa services. On the Flash—the unique service that operates in the Route 29 corridor—passengers will now be able to use all doors. This measure will also make more space available for passengers inside the buses.

“I am happy that the County Executive and the County Council support the extension of fare-free transit service,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Resuming safe front-door boarding will speed up service and make more space available for passengers. Being able to reach this milestone is a result of the hard work of Montgomery County’s transit and fleet employees.”

For the health safety of riders, passengers and bus operators, clear protective partitions have been installed to provide separation between riders, people entering the front door and bus operators. In addition to allowing front-door access, partitions make it possible to reopen seating areas in the front of buses and allow for more passengers to ride in a distanced manner.

Pandemic safety measures remain in effect. All passengers are required to wear a face covering to board and must continue wearing the covering for the entire time riding on a bus. All buses have a supply of face coverings for those who do not provide their own.

Social distancing is strongly recommended in all public spaces including onboard the buses and trains and at bus stops and shelters. Riders are asked to make best efforts to maintain maximum physical distance between themselves and other riders who are not from the same household.

Bus interiors will continue to be cleaned by the County’s Department of General Services twice daily with hospital-grade disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems also are treated each night with a disinfectant.

For the most up-to-date service information, riders should follow @RideOnMCT on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In addition, information is available at or by subscribing to “Ride On Services” email alerts. Riders also can receive text alerts by texting MONTGOMERY RIDEON to 468311.

For department updates, follow @MCDOTNow on Twitter, visit the department website at, subscribe to MCDOT news releases or subscribe to MCDOT’s ‘Go Montgomery!’ newsletter.

COVID-19 Information Portal Has Statistics on How the Virus Has Impacted the County, Including Infections by Zip Codes  

Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Information Portal provides a variety of breakdowns on how the virus has impacted the County. The statistics are regularly updated to reflect the most recent reports during the health crisis.   
Among the information available is how many positive cases have been reported in each zip code in the County. That information can be found at   
Other breakdowns on the COVID-19 Information Portal include:   

Montgomery County’s GreenFest 2021: A Month-Long Virtual Celebration of Earth Month Begins April 1

Montgomery County’s annual GreenFest—a celebration of the environment—this year will be a month of free online and in-person events throughout April. The series of activities will include educational workshops, an environmental film festival and family friendly games and scavenger hunts.

GreenFest is a chance for residents, businesses, nonprofits and neighbors to come together, share ideas and get involved in finding ways to make the County a cleaner, greener place.

GreenFest partners include the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Montgomery Parks, Brookside Gardens, the County Department of Transportation, Poolesville Green, Bethesda Green, One Montgomery Green and University of Maryland’s Sea Grant Extension.

“Greenfest epitomizes our community’s commitment to sustainable practices and eco-friendly culture,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “I encourage all residents to participate in Greenfest activities and enjoy these free, family-friendly ways to educate and empower us to do better in order to protect our planet for future generations.”

Greenfest kicks off Thursday, April 1, with a series of educational workshops by industry experts on a variety of topics that will help resident to “green” the Earth and their home environments. GreenFest partners are also will join the DC Environmental Film Festival to offer free online documentary screenings in April.

All lectures and screenings will be held online using Zoom. After registering, a link will be emailed to 24 hours prior to the live webinar.

The schedule of free GreenFest educational workshops will include:
  • Beautifying Montgomery County through Plogging. Thursday, April 1. 7-8 p.m.
    Ever heard of Plogging? The virtual lecture will address a new trend in environmental activism. It will talk about community cleanup initiatives of Montgomery County groups working together on this important campaign. Register at
  • Como puedo ayudar yo? (lecture in Spanish). Thursday, April 8. 7-8:30 p.m. Join efforts to protect our communities and the environment. Join Montgomery County agencies, Montgomery Parks and local nonprofits such as the Audubon Naturalist Society, CHEER, CHISPA of MD, Defensores de la Cuenca and Latino Outdoors in a discussion about current environmental efforts in the County. The lecture will talk about the various ways the Latino community can join to protect our communities and the environment. Zoom link: Join via telephone at 301-715-8592. Webinar ID: 951 3107 2528.
  • Aiming for Zero Waste: Compost Food Scraps in Your Backyard. Thursday, April 15. 7-8 p.m. Join the County Department of Environmental Protection for a virtual workshop on how to compost various types of food scraps in the backyard using rodent-proof compost bins. Discussion will address acceptable types of materials that can be composted, best practices to manage the composting process to prevent critters and odor and what to do with the amazing “black gold” after the materials are composted. Register at .
  • Become a Community Scientist in Your Own Backyard – Join the City Nature Challenge. Thursday, April 22. 7-8 p.m. The “City Nature Challenge” from April 30 to May 3 features cities around the world competing to make the most observations of nature, find the most species and engage the most people. Residents can submit photos of wildlife through the iNaturalist app and contribute to ecological studies that help scientists better understand the plants and animals of the local landscape. Lecture will detail how easy it is to participate, including how to use the iNaturalist app to submit observations. Have a smart phone with the free iNaturalist app pre-downloaded. Registration required at
  • Creating a Planter with Native Plants. Thursday, April 29. 7-8 p.m. Lecture will highlight the benefits of using native plants to beautify gardens while helping to support local wildlife and pollinators. Participants will learn steps to create a beautiful planter using plants native to this region. One participant will win a native plant container. Register at
The DC Environmental Film Festival at GreenFest will feature environmentally themed films available free to the public as part of Earth Month activities. The presentations will have virtual panel discussions with experts.

The festival schedule:

Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. Tuesday, April 20. 7-8 p.m. Series of short films showcases the initiatives underway in minority communities to address a variety of environmental issues. The panel discussion will bring together activists and environmental experts to discuss environmental justice as it relates to communities of color. Discussion will address how climate change will impact the health and quality of life for Black and brown communities. Other issues will include the work being done in Montgomery County and beyond to engage minority communities in protecting their environments.

The film lineup includes:
Scheduled to be on the panel:
  • Tim Paule and Nicole Lindsey, Detroit Hives
  • Rozina Kanchwala, EcoLogic
  • Pablo Blank, CASA of Maryland
  • Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance
Register at Links to watch the films online will be emailed to participants after they register.

The Story of Plastic. Tuesday, April 27. 7-8 p.m. Plastic pollution is everywhere, smothering watersheds, bays and oceans and poisoning communities around the world. The session will address what is being done to increase recycling and eliminate plastic waste. Join environmental leaders to discuss the efforts underway in Montgomery County and Maryland to reduce waste stream and improve the environment.

Registration required at A link to watch the film online will be emailed to participants after they register.

Scheduled to be on the panel:
  • Moderator: Adam Ortiz, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection
  • Shane Robinson, executive director of Trash Free Maryland
  • Lori Nicholson, community activist in Montgomery County
  • Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland State Delegate
Community cleanups will begin throughout the County on April 1. Learn more at #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge at Greenfest.

Sign up for the #MontgomeryPlogs #Challenge can be done at

Children’s games and activities will be scheduled throughout the Greenfest celebration. Greenfest Scavenger Hunts will be part of the fun. They are family friendly nature exploration events for all ages and abilities. These outdoor adventures will offer lessons about eco-friendly features in the community and at local parks. 

Restaurants Invited to Participate in MoCo Eats Week from April 23-May 3 to Gain Exposure from Event’s Marketing and Promotion

The COVID-19 health crisis has made the past 13 months difficult for residents and businesses of all kinds in Montgomery County. Particularly impacted have been the County’s restaurants. Now, as more people become vaccinated and restrictions are eased, Visit Montgomery and the County’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Services are working on a campaign to increase business at restaurants.

Restaurants around the County are invited to join MoCo Eats Week, a special restaurant week from April 23 through May 3. The event is being organized to allow diners to enjoy food and drinks at discounted prices. It is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to explore the diverse culinary scene in the County. For restaurants, it will be a way to encourage old customers to return to their favorite places and to introduce themselves to new customers enticed by the campaign.

The event organizers will spearhead the promotion and advertising for MoCo Eats Week The event is not a typical restaurant week in that restaurants are often open in limited areas or with strict instructions on how meals must be offered. MoCo Eats Week is open to all restaurants, as well as craft beverage producers and local food producers.

The details of MoCo Eats Week include:
  • Businesses pick their own deals or discounts. They can offer both dine-in and carry-out options.
  • Participants will be listed in the Digital Savings Pass, where consumers can check-in to their location to redeem deals.
  • Self-guided itineraries will be available to suggest clusters of deals throughout the county.
  • In-person and virtual events will be held all week long. Businesses can host an event during the week or submit pre-recorded events. (These can be cooking or cocktail-making segments, history happy hours, tastings or other creative offerings.)
Restaurants that want more information on MoCo Eats Week, and how they can participate, can go to

New Episode of Montgomery County’s ‘What’s Happening MoCo’ Podcast Addresses Safety and Quality of Life for Seniors

Improving the quality of life of senior residents in Montgomery County, identifying services available to them and how to obtain emergency housing for those in crisis situations are the themes of the latest episode of the “What’s Happening MoCo” podcast. The podcast highlights people and programs important to the residents of Montgomery County.

Podcast guests Sydney Palinkas, the community outreach and education manager for the ElderSafe Center Program, and Maria Brianconn, president of the Poolesville Senior Center, share advice that will empower seniors in Poolesville and throughout the County to overcome the challenges many face such as elder abuse, financial scams and isolation.

The new episode is now available. The on-demand video of the newest episode can be viewed via the What’s Happening MoCo Facebook page at The podcast also can be heard via several popular podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts at, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio and others.

In this podcast, Ms. Palinkas talked about how seniors, and caregivers, can get help and advice from the Elder Safe Program. It provides assistance through a free hotline and can help arrange for emergency housing for qualifying seniors. The Elder Safe Program seeks to help seniors in crisis. The Poolesville Senior Center works to ensure that UpCounty seniors feel connected.

Ms. Brianconn asserts that quality of life is an important part of senior living. The Poolesville Senior Center, like other senior centers throughout the County, faced a great challenge to help UpCounty seniors stay active during the COVID-19 health crisis over the past year. However, with tools such as Zoom and events such as pop-up walks, Brianconn said the senior center has found creative ways to continue.

Throughout the podcast, Ms. Brianconn and Ms. Palinkas provide valuable tips that can be of immediate benefit to senior residents and their families.

More information about the ElderSafe Center Program can be found at More information about the Poolesville Senior Center can be found at

In past episodes, podcast host Derrick Kenny has talked with guests on a wide variety of subjects. The show’s guests have included elected officials, Montgomery employees who specialize in specific aspects of government, business leaders and entertainers who live in the County. New podcasts are released twice a month.

Residents and others interested in asking a question or suggesting a topic to be addressed in a future episode are encouraged to engage via the Facebook page or via e-mail at

What’s Happening MoCo podcast episode archives can be accessed by visiting the podcast’s webpage at

County Recreation Seeks Residents to Join Volunteer Program That Reaches Out to Seniors to Detail Services and Opportunities Available

Montgomery County Recreation’s (MCR) Senior Program Team is inviting residents to help advance programming for adults 55 and older by joining a new outreach team. The newly formed group was organized after a series of community listening sessions indicated there was a strong interest in volunteering as senior promoters to assist with the delivery of senior services.

The team of community outreach workers will work as ambassadors to understand and vocalize the needs and preferences of older adults. The group will actively engage in shaping social and recreation services to the County’s diverse community of seniors.

Five community members will lead the team with assistance from MCR. There are multiple areas for outreach including:
  • Making recommendations to MCR about recreation and social programming offerings that best serve the needs and preferences of older residents.
  • Outlining the needs of caregivers and outlining strategies to support caregivers.
  • Identify fresh perspectives on how to effectively meet the changing and diverse needs of older adults.
There is flexibility within the group to expand to other areas, depending on the experiences, expertise and interest of the volunteers.

Those interested in joining the outreach program should email Emily McDonell at

New Online Series Will Update Business Professionals and Homeowners on County’s Permitting Procedures

Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services (DPS) has launched a new online educational series for business professionals and homeowners that will update the department's regulations and permit processes. The first of the series covered the topic of Sediment Control Permits.

Each session will provide a general overview of the permitting process and tips on ensuring plans are reviewed quickly. It is hoped that the series will reduce the number of reviews.

“Our goal is to help customers maneuver through our permitting and plan review process and avoid some of the common mistakes that can increase plan review timeframes,” said Linda Kobylski, chief for the DPS Land Development Division. “We hope these sessions will also reduce any surprises in the field during construction. DPS is also exploring opportunities for design professionals to earn CE credits for attending these educational webinars.”

Spring has arrived and many property owners will consider improvement projects including installation or replacement of a fence. The next session in the DPS series will cover fence permitting. DPS experts will provide a guide through the requirements for construction of a new fence, repairs or replacement, zoning requirements and how to avoid issues related to encroachment of the public right of way. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions as well.

The session on fencing will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. on April 15. Registration is

The session on sediment control permits can be viewed at

Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services’ Launches ‘Pause Program’ to Encourage Responsible Driving Decisions for Alcohol Awareness Month

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month and Montgomery County’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) is launching a “Pause Program” in partnership with Brown-Forman, a spirits manufacturer. The program encourages people to momentarily “pause” and make responsible decisions around alcohol, particularly in relation to drinks to-go.

ABS is distributing 20,000 branded stickers designed to fit on the lid or side of a to-go drink container that reads, “Pause until you get home—please do not open or consume while driving.” Throughout April, ABS is providing the stickers to restaurants that are approved to sell and deliver beer, wine, spirits and cocktails for off-premises consumption, along with a takeout or delivered meal. ABS also is providing stickers to off-premise licensed businesses and their own County-operated retail stores. Stickers will be offered to businesses at no cost.

“This is a great opportunity to remind the public and community at-large that alcohol to-go must be consumed at home, not while walking around town and never while driving,” said ABS Acting Director Kathie Durbin. “We want to keep our communities safe while helping businesses thrive in a time of need.”

The Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners last year approved a temporary resolution allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine, spirits and cocktails to-go during the COVID-19 health emergency. The to-go permission includes any type of sealed container, including bottles, cans, growlers, crowlers and takeout cups with lids for off-premises consumption. Under the resolution, businesses can deliver beer, wine, spirits and cocktails to County addresses, along with a meal, using the businesses own staff. State law prohibits the delivery of alcohol by a third party, such as Grubhub or Uber Eats.

Businesses that would like to request Pause Program stickers should email by April 23.

For more information about the program, contact Gabriela Monzon-Reynolds at 202-713-6765 or

For information about ABS, including licensing and education programs, visit its website.

ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits for Montgomery County and operates 26 retail stores throughout the County. In addition, ABS manages alcohol licensing, enforcement, and education for more than 1,000 businesses. Generating more than $35 million in net income annually, its profits are used to pay down County debt with a large portion deposited in the general fund to pay for resident services that would otherwise be funded by County tax dollars.

Montgomery County Challenges Residents to Start Plogging—An Initiative to Encourage Picking Up Trash While Jogging or Walking

To celebrate the start of Earth Month, Montgomery County is kicking off a spring #PloggingChallenge from April 1 through June 30. The initiative, led by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in partnership with Montgomery Parks and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, challenges everyone to “plog”—pick up trash while they jog or walk.

The plogging concept asks people who regularly jog or a walk to take a trash bag and a grabber and pick up trash while they are on their route.

Plogging is a worldwide trend that started in Sweden and is now a part of Montgomery County’s effort to reduce litter. It also is a great way to get in extra exercise. As a workout, plogging adds bending, squatting and stretching to the main actions of jogging or walking, all while cleaning up our community.

Residents can join the #PloggingChallenge by taking a photo of themselves plogging in Montgomery County and tagging the DEP Instagram account @mygreenmc or using the hashtag #MontgomeryPlogs on Instagram. Participants also can submit photos via email to

Anyone who joins the #PloggingChallenge can get a free “Plog-A-Long" pack by signing up on the DEP website

Each Plog-A-Long pack contains trash and recycling bags, gloves, a one litter grabber and hand sanitizer. Those who sign up to receive a Plog-A-Long pack are committing to picking up trash, disposing of trash properly and reporting the number of bags of trash that are picked up.

Students will be eligible to earn one Student Service Learning hour per day, per bag of trash picked up. Prizes and other plogging events are planned throughout the campaign.

All Plog-Along Packs must be picked up in person at a designated location. See the website for further details.

“The Plogging Challenge is a fun and engaging way to raise awareness about stormwater pollution,” said DEP Director Adam Ortiz. “All of the trash that we see on the sides of the roads, on curbs, in streams, and in stormwater ponds eventually ends up in our rives and waterways. Plogging is a simple act that can really have an impact. Imagine how much trash we can collect if everyone were to plog even a little bit every day.”

More campaign details can be found here: .

TCR2 Therapeutics Establishes Commercial-Scale Cell Therapy Manufacturing Facility in Montgomery County That Will Add 175 New Jobs

TCR2 Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage cell therapy company with a pipeline of novel T cell therapies for patients suffering from cancer, has announced that it has signed a long-term, full-building lease in Rockville. The Massachusetts-based company plans to add 175 jobs in the County to support its clinical and commercial production of gavo-cel, with a capacity to treat several thousand cancer patients annually.

The agreement with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. is for an existing 85,000-square-foot cell therapy manufacturing facility in the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center in Rockville. TCR2 will build out the facility at 9500 Medical Center Drive, which will help accelerate TCR2’s commercial-scale manufacturing timelines with production anticipated in 2023.

To assist with project costs related to the expansion, the Maryland Department of Commerce has approved an $875,000 conditional loan contingent on job creation and capital investment. Montgomery County has approved a $100,000 Economic Development Fund conditional grant contingent on job creation and capital investment. The company is eligible for several tax credits, including the Job Creation Tax Credit, More Jobs for Marylanders and the County’s New Jobs Tax Credit.

TCR2 utilizes its proprietary TCR Fusion Construct T cells (TRuC®-T cells) to specifically recognize and kill cancer cells. The treatment can be personalized for each patient.

“TCR2 Therapeutics’ cancer-fighting products make them one of the most promising cell therapy companies in the life sciences industry," said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. "We realize that this company explored options in other leading life science markets, and are delighted that they have decided to bring 175 new jobs to a new state-of the-art manufacturing space in Montgomery County— just miles from the National Cancer Institute.”

The company’s lead TRuC-T cell product candidate targeting solid tumors, gavo-cel, is currently being studied in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to treat patients with mesothelin-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ovarian cancer, malignant pleural/peritoneal mesothelioma and bile duct cancer. Another product candidate, TC-110, is currently being studied in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to treat patients with CD19-positive adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (aALL) and with aggressive or indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

“After observing the consistent early clinical benefit and manageable safety profile experienced by patients treated with gavo-cel, we committed to securing a dedicated U.S. manufacturing facility as the first step in building a regional network to supply cancer patients with our therapies,” said Garry Menzel, president and chief executive officer of TCR2 Therapeutics. “Leasing an existing manufacturing footprint is a substantial milestone for TCR2, saving us valuable time and capital so that we can be ready for commercial production in 2023. Our new state-of-the-art facility will allow us to directly leverage our cell therapy process development expertise and control our end-to-end production supply chain. We are very pleased to be building a world-class cell therapy production facility for gavo-cel that will bring new hope to cancer patients suffering from solid tumors.”

The facility will provide space for commercial and clinical manufacturing, quality control laboratories and offices upon completion.

“In choosing Montgomery County, TCR2 found the perfect location to quickly build their advanced manufacturing facility and accelerate the development time of their personalized cancer therapies,” said Benjamin H. Wu, president and CEO of Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. "The company’s arrival and long-term commitment truly add to Montgomery County's stature as the Immunology Capital next to the Nation's Capital."

March 25, 2021

Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

Dear Friends,

We had some good news this week. Governor Larry Hogan announced that a mass vaccination site is coming to Montgomery County. It will be located at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College and scheduled to open the week of April 5. The site will be able to distribute 3,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine per day and while we do not yet know when we will have the full amount, we are ready. I want to thank the Governor and his staff, who have been working with our staff on the logistics for a mass vaccination site. I also want to thank the County Council, our State and Federal delegations, Montgomery College and Holy Cross hospital.

This site will be more accessible by public transit and to many in our community who have been hard hit by this virus. Because it is a mass vaccination site in partnership with the State, it also will be available to residents throughout the State—not just Montgomery County residents. This is the same as all State-operated mass vaccination sites. Our residents have been able to access mass vaccination sites elsewhere in the State.

While we are thrilled that the site is coming here, I want to emphasize that we are still waiting on increased doses. The Governor also expanded the number of people eligible for vaccinations. To check on whether you are eligible, click this link

We are hopeful that more doses will arrive in the coming weeks and months, but please do not confuse eligibility with availability. You will be able to get vaccinated, but it may take some time and patience.

I am also happy to report that more than 27 percent of our residents have received at least one dose, and virtually all educational staff—in Montgomery County Public Schools and private schools—have been vaccinated or have been offered an appointment.

On a different note, we all know that COVID-19 has hit certain populations particularly hard both in illness and employment. Consequently, many renters are having difficulty keeping up with rent payments. The recently passed Federal American Recovery Act will bring some desperately needed relief, including rent relief, but it will take some time. That is why I joined with the County Executives of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties to ask the Governor to extend the eviction moratorium until the end of June. That would provide the necessary assistance to tenants and landlords.

As we head into Passover and Easter celebrations and spring break, I wish you good celebrations and ask you to please continue to follow guidelines: maintain physical distance, avoid large crowds and please wear masks.

We will get through this together.

With appreciation,

Marc Elrich
County Executive

March 24, 2021

Mass Vaccination Site Coming to Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus

Mass Vaccination Site Coming to Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus

Montgomery County will have a new mass vaccination site to distribute large quantities of COVID-19 vaccinations at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College starting the week of April 5. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the establishment of the site on March 23.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and members of the County Council have been advocating for the establishment of a mass vaccination site in the County. The site will be established with the partnership of the Holy Cross Health system.

It is expected that the Germantown site will be capable of vaccinating 3,000 people per day on a seven-days-a-week operation. Since it will be a State site, all residents of Maryland will be eligible to sign up for appointments at the site.

Residents can preregister for State mass vaccination clinics online or by calling 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829).

County Executive Elrich and the Council issued the following statement after learning the State would establish the site:

“We would like to thank Governor Larry Hogan and the State of Maryland for their partnership over the last few weeks as we worked to open a mass vaccination site at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College. With thousands of Montgomery County residents leaving the County and driving to other jurisdictions to get vaccinated, we are pleased to have a site that will provide better access for our residents and other Marylanders.   We would also like to thank our partner Holy Cross Health for the time and expertise that they have put into planning for this new mass vaccination site.  They have been pivotal to the process, and we look forward to continuing to work with them. We also are grateful for Montgomery College's willingness to continually step up to serve our community.  

“In addition, we would like to thank our State and Federal delegations for their support and advocacy throughout this process. They understand how important this site is to the County and the State and they helped us amplify our message. Montgomery County is fortunate to have such engaged and influential legislators at both the State and Federal levels.  Their voices continue to make a difference.

“As Maryland’s largest and most diverse community by race, socio-economic status and culture, we have been, and will continue to, make sure that our vaccination efforts are equitable throughout the County. We encourage all residents to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.  

“Our priority has always been the health and safety of our residents as well as others in the region, which now includes having greater access to the COVID-19 vaccine.  This mass vaccination site will be more accessible by public transit than other locations around the State, making it easier for people who depend on public transportation to get to the site.  

“With the anticipated increase in the volume of vaccine that the State will receive from the Federal government in the coming weeks, this new site will enhance and expand our efforts to get more shots in the arms of Montgomery County residents, while also focusing on our most vulnerable residents and hardest hit communities.  Vaccinations, masking up and testing are our best defenses against the virus.  This mass vaccination site is a significant step forward, but we can’t stop doing the things that have kept us safe for the last year.”

State Establishes Updated Calendar on Vaccine Priority Groups and When They Will Be Eligible

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said this week that he wants all jurisdictions in the State to follow the same calendar of priority groups to determine who is eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. On March 23, according to his schedule, the State moved into Priority Group 2A, which allows all residents 60 and over to receive vaccines.

The future schedule for vaccine eligibility established by Governor Hogan:
  • Phase 2B eligibility: Marylanders age 16 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Begins Tuesday, March 30.
  • Phase 2C eligibility: All Marylanders age 55 and older, as well as essential workers in critical industries including construction workers, food services, utilities, transportation, financial services, IT and other infrastructure. Begins Tuesday, April 13.
  • Phase 3 eligibility: General population, including healthy adults age 16 and older. Begins Tuesday, April 27.
More information can be found at,

New Board of Health Regulation Updates Guidance on County Youth Activities, Allowing High School Football and Other Sports to Have Abbreviated Spring Seasons

Montgomery County high schools can have an abbreviated football spring football season, and spring seasons for other sports, after the County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, unanimously approved a regulation to provide new guidance for sports.

The goal of the updated guidance is to allow young people to play competitive sports, while taking the proper public health precautions. The new Board of Health regulation removes the “risk classifications” for different sports while maintaining public health measures.

Instead of evaluating different sports by risk category, all organized sports played indoors or outdoors must obtain a COVID-19 Protocol Plan approved by the County health officer or a designee. Each plan must include:
  • A contact tracing component with an attendance tracking sheet that must be completed for all activities.
  • A requirement that face coverings are worn as provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • A commitment to maintain social distancing of at least six feet between all participants to the extent possible.
  • A requirement for the use of a student attestation form or a COVID-19 athlete or coach monitoring form at all activities.
An organized sports league that was approved to operate under a prior Board of Health regulation, and was not previously classified as high risk, does not need to develop a new COVID Protocol Plan for any event that complies with gathering limits and restrictions.

Under the original regulation adopted, sports played outside of an organized league are permitted with a maximum of 50 people for outdoor sports and a maximum of 25 people for indoor sports. Face coverings must be worn whenever social distancing is not possible.

The health officer or the officer’s designee may approve a COVID Protocol Plan that includes more than 50 spectators for an event if the officer finds that the plan provides for reasonable safety for all participants.

However, the Council on Friday, March 26, will consider updates to the adopted regulation. Those updates would include:

The updated regulation would allow two spectators per participating athlete at a sports event up to a maximum of 50 spectators if:
  • The site has a barrier to delineate the area for spectators from the area for the participating athletes and coaches.
  • The area for the spectators is large enough to provide for social distancing between all spectators from different households.
  • All spectators wear face coverings and practice social distancing of at least six feet.
If approved by the Council, the amended Board of Health regulation would be effective on Tuesday, April 2.

The new Board of Health regulation can be viewed here.

COVID-19 Update: 27.8 Percent of Montgomery County Residents Have Received At Least One Vaccination

Navigate the charts with the arrows in the Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.

Maryland State statistics regarding COVID-19 vaccinations show that, as of Thursday morning, March 25, more than 292,300 Montgomery County residents (27.8 percent of the total population) have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The statistics show that 150,100 residents (14.3 percent of the population) are fully vaccinated.

While the number of people receiving vaccination continues to increase, confirmed COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 testing positivity rates and COVID-19 hospital bed use rates are generally going down. See the Montgomery County COVID-19 Data Dashboard for details.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced this week that a State mass vaccination site will open at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College. In addition to the Germantown site, the Governor announced five other new mass vaccination sites.  In total, there will be a dozen sites throughout Maryland by the end of April.

The Montgomery College site will open the week of April 5. Residents can preregister for State mass vaccination clinics online or by calling 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829).

All Maryland residents age 60 and older can now preregister for vaccination at sites operated by the County health department. The County wants to remind residents that it will take some time before there is enough vaccine for everyone, so eligibility and preregistration does not mean a person will get an appointment immediately. 

The health department is continuing to vaccinate all essential employees and residents age 65 and older. The County is trying to get doses to residents in zip codes that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 deaths and to those who have difficulty accessing vaccinations.

The County health department is encouraging residents to preregister with the State and with the County—and to take the first vaccination appointment offered at any clinic.

The County is improving its preregistration system and now has the ability to have residents who have been vaccinated to cancel preregistration for a County-run clinic. Completing this form will remove a person from the County’s preregistration list and streamline the ability for others to get appointments.

As more residents get vaccinated, it is still important for other residents to get tested. Testing helps health officials track the spread of COVID-19 in the community.  There are free testing clinics every week throughout the County. Find a complete schedule of upcoming clinics at

COVID-19 Information Portal Has Statistics on How the Virus Has Impacted the County, Including Infections by Zip Codes   

Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Information Portal provides a variety of breakdowns on how the virus has impacted the County. The statistics are regularly updated to reflect the most recent reports during the health crisis.   
Among the information available is how many positive cases have been reported in each zip code in the County. That information can be found at   
Other breakdowns on the COVID-19 Information Portal include:   


Alcohol Beverage Services Will Extend Store Hours Starting Thursday, April 1, but COVID-19 Safeguards Remain

Montgomery County’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) will extend hours of operation at 25 of its retail store locations starting Thursday, April 1. The new hours will have those stores open Monday through Saturday, noon. to 9 p.m. For the past year, stores closed at 7 p.m. due to COVID-19-related staffing impacts.

The extended hours will be implemented as increased numbers of shoppers and store staff receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Many employees on long-term leave due to the health crisis have been vaccinated and are returning to work.

“Now that more employees and residents are getting vaccinated, we are able to get back to our pre-COVID evening hours,” said Kent Massie, ABS division chief for retail operations. “We know our customers want the convenience of shopping later into the evening, especially as the days get longer. Staying open later makes sense given we are continuing to limit the number of shoppers in stores at one time.”

The Poolesville spirits-only store, which opened last June, will continue to be open Monday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. The earlier closing time is consistent with the business model for the smaller format, lower volume store.

ABS stores will continue to be closed on Sundays. However, the department will re-evaluate this status as more shoppers venture out and as vaccination levels continue to rise.

ABS retail stores will continue to maintain social distancing guidelines, limits on the number of customers in stores at one time, enhanced cleaning protocols, plexiglass barriers at checkout and mandatory face coverings for employees and shoppers.

For information about ABS, including store hours and locations, visit its website. 

ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits for Montgomery County and operates 26 retail stores throughout the County. In addition, ABS manages alcohol licensing, enforcement, and education for more than 1,000 businesses. Generating more than $35 million in net income annually, its profits are used to pay down County debt with a large portion deposited in the general fund to pay for resident services that would otherwise be funded by County tax dollars.

Head Start and Partners Launch ‘The Basics’ Pilot Program to Raise Awareness About Early Childhood Development

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Head Start Program has launched a pilot of The Basics, a public health strategy that raises awareness about early childhood development. The initiative builds capacity throughout the community for engaging families around five science-based parenting and caregiving tenets that support social, emotional and cognitive development of young children.

The five tenets of the program are Maximize Love and Manage Stress; Count, Group and Compare; Talk, Sing and Point; Explore through Movement and Play; and Read and Discuss Stories.

The pilot program, funded with a one-time provision of $100,000 in Federal CARES Act funding, will focus on Head Start families in Germantown and Gaithersburg. The Basics advisory committee must secure funding for a fully implemented program.

“During this year of the pandemic, families are facing incredible stress and this effort will help strengthen parents as they build their children’s social, emotional and cognitive development, which are pivotal foundations for early learning and good health,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We appreciate how all of the partners have embraced this effort.”

The Basics pilot program is a partnership that includes the County Department of Health and Human Services Head Start (Community Action Agency, the grantee), Early Childhood Services and School Health Services. The partnership also includes the Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) Division of CARES Act, Early Childhood & Title I and Montgomery Moving Forward, an initiative of Nonprofit Montgomery.  

The Basics pilot program aligns with the County’s Early Care and Education Initiative as part of its four-year action plan to expand child care options for infants, toddlers and preschoolers; provide greater access to more families; and support schools and community providers.

The County’s Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Action Agency has served as the County’s Head Start grantee since its inception. MCPS serves as the delegate agency for the County’s Head Start program, serving 648 children and their families with high-quality education and comprehensive services. The Community Action Board, along with the Head Start Parents Policy Council, is the governing body for the County’s Head Start program.

More information about the Basics program is available by contacting Head Start Manager Charlene Muhammad at 

County Buses to Resume Front-Door Boarding and Rider Fare Payments on Monday, April 5, and Will Now Accept Virtual SmarTrip Cards

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will resume front-door boarding and fare collection on all Ride On, Ride On extRa and Flash buses starting on Monday, April 5. Rear doors have been used for boarding since March of last year in response to the COVID-19 crisis, but will no longer be used for boarding on any services except for Flash. 

Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, MCDOT buses operated on a modified basis with front door boarding and fare collection suspended. The changes allowed for more efficient bus service during a time with limited resources, optimized social distancing and minimized contact between passengers at the farebox.  

For the safety of riders, passengers and bus operators, clear protective partitions have been installed to provide separation between riders, people entering the front door and bus operators. In addition to allowing front door access, partitions make it possible to reopen seating areas in the front of buses and allow for more passengers to ride in a distanced manner. 

To minimize congregating and maintaining distance between passengers, MCDOT is requesting passengers to prepare before boarding by having SmarTrip cards, passes, cash or phone apps out and ready to pay exact fare. The standard cost per trip is $2.  

A virtual SmarTrip card on Apple iPhones is a new fare payment option that will provide a faster, contactless way to pay. It is a payment option implemented on Metrobus earlier this year. Customers can add the virtual SmarTrip card to their Apple Wallet and then pay using an iPhone or Apple Watch. To pay with a virtual SmarTrip card, hold the mobile device over the SmarTrip target, just as you would a SmarTrip card. To get started, download the SmarTrip app from the App Store. For details and instructions, go to:  

Payment support for Google Wallet on Android devices is in development and will be advertised once available. 

Payments for the Flash are made at the station “before” boarding by tapping a SmarTrip card on a Smartrip post or at the ticket vending machines for those using cash.

Pandemic safety measures remain in effect. All passengers are required to wear a face covering to board and must continue wearing the covering for the entire time riding on a bus. All buses have a supply of face coverings for those who do not provide their own. 

Social distancing is strongly recommended in all public spaces including onboard the buses and trains and at bus stops and shelters. Riders are asked to make best efforts to maintain maximum physical distance between themselves and other riders who are not from the same household. 

"I am proud to see Montgomery County Transit’s ongoing proactive approach to modify long-standing practices and develop creative solutions so that we can provide the services riders need while keeping them and our bus operators safe,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We are glad to be able to welcome riders through the front doors again and open up more seating inside each bus."  

Bus interiors will continue to be cleaned by the County’s Department of General Services twice daily with hospital-grade disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems also are treated each night with a disinfectant. 

Community Services Grants Available to County Nonprofits

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is now accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2022 Community Services grants. The program will provide grants of up to $10,000 to support health and human service projects that promote a safe, healthy and self-sufficient community. 

The one-time only grants will be awarded to qualifying nonprofit organizations serving County residents. The grants could provide reimbursement for approved equipment and other capital purchases. All funded programs must begin and complete purchases between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.

The deadline for submission of the applications is Wednesday, April 7. Application materials are available on the DHHS website under the subheading of “Hot Topics.” 

For more information about the program, contact Victoria Buckland at 240-777-1211 or send an email to

Brookside Gardens Opens ‘Facets of Hope’ Temporary Display Honoring Lives Lost to COVID-19    

Brookside Gardens, the 50-acre, horticultural display garden located within Wheaton Region Park, has opened the temporary “Facets of Hope” art installation that pays tribute to the lives lost over the past year to the COVID-19 health crisis.

Since March 6, 2020, when COVID-19 was first reported in Montgomery County, more than 1,400 County residents have died from the virus. Facets of Hope suspends one strand of crystals in memory of each life lost in the County. 

The vintage crystals are clear, molded glass or cut crystal. They are suspended from the wisteria arbor located in the Rose Garden. New strands will be added through the duration of the exhibit.  

“Everyone in Montgomery County has been deeply impacted by COVID-19’” said Brookside Gardens Director Stephanie Oberle. “We have lost our parents, children, siblings, partners, friends, neighbors and co-workers to the virus. This temporary art installation is meant to be a place for memories, reflection and healing.”

The outdoor exhibit will be on display through Sept. 16. 

The grounds at Brookside Gardens are open daily from sunrise to sunset and the Visitor Center is open from 10 am. to 2 p.m. The conservatory is currently closed.   

Brookside Gardens features intricately designed landscapes, permanent and seasonal display and two conservatories. Throughout the year, the Gardens welcome more than 800,000 visitors at engaging programs and events for children and adults. More information about the park is available at 

All Informal Solicitations of County Government Will Come Under Local Small Business Program Starting April 1 to Help Assist in Recovery from COVID-19

The Montgomery County Government’s director of the Office of Procurement will require all informal solicitations starting April 1 be reserved under the County’s Local Small Business Reserve Program (LSBRP). The initiative is part of County Executive Marc Elrich’s effort to assist local small businesses to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis.

In Fiscal Year 2020, the County awarded $2,026,173 in informal solicitations. 

“To a small local business, a $75,000 to $100,000 County government contract could make the difference between tiding over or having to permanently shutter their doors,” said Procurement Director Ash Shetty. “It is incumbent on us to make sure that, if there is a competitive pool of local businesses that can meet our needs and requirements, that they be given the opportunity.”

Previously, a County department could submit an exemption request to the Office of Procurement’s Division of Business Relations and Compliance to exempt an informal solicitation from the LSBRP. While the exemptions allowed streamlining of the informal solicitation procurement process, the small purchases (below $100,000) will now provide greater contracting opportunities to local small businesses.

The Office of Procurement urges County small businesses to register for the LSBRP. To learn more about the initiative, visit the Procurement website at

March 18, 2021

Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

Dear Friends,

I know that vaccine availability continues to be the question for many of us. Here are some major points I would like to convey.

Will MoCo get a mass vaccination site?

Yes. We just don’t know when. But we do know that, at some point, we will get many more vaccines and we need to be ready. And we will be ready. We are setting up the logistics now.

We are making progress:
  • 75 percent of our 75 and older residents have received at least one dose.
  • 65 percent of our residents who are 65-74 years old have received at least one dose.
  • 30 percent of residents 16 and over received at least one dose.
  • The Federal government will be sending more doses.
Reason for caution:
  • About 70 percent of our adult residents are not yet vaccinated.
  • The County’s seven-day average number of cases per 100,000 residents is still significantly higher than it was late summer/early fall, as is shown in the County Vaccine Dashboard.
  • The State’s case count average is higher now than it had been from early August through October.
  • There are multiple, aggressive variants of COVID-19 in Maryland.
  • We do not know how many or when doses from the Federal government will arrive.
  • Increased eligibility for vaccines should not be confused with the availability of vaccines. Demand continues to exceed supply.
  • Trying to schedule an appointment with limited doses continues to be frustrating and needs a better system. We continue to ask the State to modify the program to streamline the process.
What now?
  • Please be patient. If you are not yet vaccinated, you will be.
  • Get tested if you think you might have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Even if you are vaccinated, when in public, continue physical distancing, frequent handwashing and masking wearing.
We are getting through this together.

With appreciation,

Marc Elrich
County Executive

P.S. I sent my Fiscal Year 2022 Recommended Operating Budget to the County Council on Monday. I am very pleased that, even after a year of a pandemic, we were able to propose a budget that:
  • Fully funds our education partners at Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College.
  • Improves economic development.
  • Tackles climate change.
  • Increases mental health and other support for our residents in need.
  • Provides record funding for affordable housing.
  • Reimagines public safety.
  • Fully funds recommended funding for public financing.
  • And much more.
You can read my budget memo here.

We are very grateful for the work by our entire Congressional delegation—Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Jamie Raskin, John Sarbanes and David Trone—for their work on the Federal American Recovery Act. It is bringing desperately needed help to local governments, businesses and residents.

March 17, 2021

County Executive Elrich Releases $5.97 Billion Recommended FY 2022 Operating Budget That Focuses on ‘Response, Recovery and Resilience’ and Does Not Include a Property Tax Rate Increase


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has released his $5.97 billion Recommended Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget that focuses on “response, recovery and resilience” following the COVID-19 health crisis. The budget does not have an increase in the residential property tax rate.

The budget, which by law must be presented to the County Council by March 15 of each year, also shows commitment to the County Executive’s long-term goals of social justice, equity, community resiliency and the challenge of addressing climate change. The Council will review the recommended budget over the next two months and adopt the new County budget in late May. The FY22 budget goes into effect on July 1.

The recommended budget is a 2.2 percent increase from the FY21 approved budget. It reflects a tax-supported budget of $5.13 billion.

To view highlights of the recommended budget, go to

To view County Executive Elrich’s presentation, go to

County Moves Toward Gradual Reopening Steps

Montgomery County has moved toward implementation of a phased approach to reopening that will allow students and teachers back in the classroom safely, expand business opportunities and restore recreational and social activities in a way that does not unduly jeopardize public health. The steps were part of a Board of Health regulation proposed by County Executive Marc Elrich and approved by the County Council.

Among the provisions of the regulation:
  • The County is aligning its outdoor dining with Maryland's Department of Health guidance. Indoor dining capacity remains at 25 percent until March 26, when it will increase to 50 percent. The 10 p.m. time limit for alcohol service has also been eliminated.
  • Childcare can return to group sizes and staff-child ratios in accordance with Maryland regulations.
  • Outdoor gathering limits have been increased to 50 people or less.
  • Indoor gathering limits have been increased to 25 people or less.
  • Retail establishments and businesses, such as fitness centers, hair or nail salons, museums and art galleries, can operate at 25 percent capacity.
  • Houses of worship can conduct services at 50 percent occupancy.
  • Sports played outside can now occur with a maximum of 50 people. Indoor sports activities can be played with a maximum of 25 people. However, a letter of approval can be sought from the County for larger youth sports activities. Youth ice hockey is also allowed at 10 percent of the maximum capacity of the ice rink.
On March 26, capacity limits will increase to 50 percent for retail establishments, personal service facilities, fitness centers, bowling alleys, escape rooms, museums, art galleries and pools. Also on March 26: theaters, social clubs and all admission and amusement venues can reopen at 25 percent capacity without food concessions.

Update on COVID-19 Vaccines in the County: Doses Delivered to County Health Department Are Increased

Navigate the charts with the arrows in the Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.

The number of Montgomery County residents who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines has continued to increase. And this week, the County health department was informed its weekly allotment of doses from the State has increased.

As of Thursday morning, March 18, Maryland State statistics for Montgomery County show that more than 245,000 Montgomery County residents (23.4 percent of the population) have received their first vaccine dose and more than 128,000 residents (12.2 percent of the population) have been fully vaccinated with either the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

While vaccination rates are going up, confirmed COVID-19 cases, COVID-19- testing positivity rates and COVID-19 hospital bed use rates are going down in the County. See the County COVID-19 Data Dashboard for details.

The County health department has been notified that it will be receiving 6,600 first doses of vaccine this week, as well as second doses to provide to those vaccinated four weeks ago. 

All County-operated clinics are by appointment only and no walk-ins are allowed.

The County health department has not received details on when it will receive more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  The County used its first allotment of the J&J vaccine to reach individuals in homeless shelters, as well as essential workers and some homebound seniors.

Vaccine supply is increasing and there will continue to be additional options. The County is planning to establish a future mass vaccination site at Montgomery College's Germantown campus.

The County health department has opened up its vaccination eligibility to residents in Priority Groups 1B (all tiers) and 1C (including those 65 to 74). This includes grocery store workers, teachers, child care workers, food and agricultural workers and postal service workers. These are employees who interact frequently with the public.

The County is trying to inform grocery store employees that they are among those eligible to receive vaccines. The County is encouraging residents to tell employees at their local grocery stores that they should preregister for a COVID-19 vaccination by visiting the County vaccine website. The County is working with large employers to identify essential staff, but it knows that many eligible employees work for small grocery stores and ethnic markets. It wants to make sure they are vaccinated, too.

According to data provided by the State, more than 60 percent of County residents 65 or older have received one dose of vaccine.  There are still a considerable number of residents in this age group who have not preregistered yet. This is particularly true for the County’s Black and Latino residents.  If you or someone you know is 65 or older and has not preregistered for a COVID-19 vaccination, visit the County’s vaccine website and preregister.

If you or another vaccine eligible person needs help to preregister, call the Preregistration Help Line at 240-777-2982.

COVID-19 Information Portal Has Statistics on How the Virus Has Impacted the County, Including Infections by Zip Codes  

Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Information Portal provides a variety of breakdowns on how the virus has impacted the County. The statistics are regularly updated to reflect the most recent reports during the health crisis.  
Among the information available is how many positive cases have been reported in each zip code in the County. That information can be found at  
Other breakdowns on the COVID-19 Information Portal include: