April 15, 2021

Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

Dear Friends:

This past Monday was the last day—“Sine Die” — of the Maryland State legislative session. I want to thank the Montgomery County Delegation for its leadership and accomplishments in a number of different areas, which are listed here. I am especially appreciative of passage of legislation that would allow Montgomery County to implement Community Choice Energy (CCE), which gives us a chance to prioritize cleaner, sustainable energy sources. Even in the midst of this pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the ongoing climate emergency that must be addressed.

I also wanted to share the following COVID-19 updates with you.

Case rates

Although our County case rates and positivity do not seem to be declining, the good news is that the rate is not increasing, which is different than the situation statewide, as you can see from the graph below. See more details at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/

To see how Montgomery County and other counties compare to the State 7-day moving average of cases per 100,000 populations, click here.

J & J vaccines

Two days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a “pause” in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It was recommended because a small number of cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clots were reported among the nearly seven million J & J doses administered. All of the cases were among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. As of April 13, according to the CDC, no cases have been reported among the more than 180 million people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Certainly, this is a setback. The pause is necessary to allow a review, and I am appreciative that the information is being shared with all of us. On a personal note, I received the J & J vaccine a few weeks ago, and I feel fine. I know this will not be the last setback, and it is an important reminder that we must continue to work to slow the spread.

Equity, vaccines and the hard-hit communities

I held a press conference earlier today and was joined by our public health officer, Travis Gayles, and others on our public health team. They discussed our efforts to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. Like most places around the country, Black and Hispanic residents are getting vaccinated at a lower rate than our White/non-Hispanic residents. The good news is that we are narrowing that gap, and we will continue to work with our hard-to reach and severely impacted communities. You can listen to the presentation from today. And you can read a little about it HERE.

Tips for the already vaccinated

I wanted to share this graphic with you that I find helpful. An enhanced version can be viewed here.

As always – in appreciation of all you do.

Marc Elrich
County Executive