January 26, 2022

County Council Extends Indoor Masking Guidance in Public Spaces Through Feb. 21

The regulation requiring masks to be worn indoors in public spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 was extended this week through Feb. 21 by the Montgomery County Council, which acted in its role as the County Board of Health. The Council also decided not to vote on a proposal to require a vaccine passport to enter specific indoor venues.

The Council also decided that it will meet weekly with the County's public health officer to see if the indoor masking guidance should be terminated earlier. The public health officer must provide the Board of Health with the levels of the following indicators in the County and the trend of these indicators for seven consecutive days:
  • The number of cases per 100,000 residents.
  • The test positivity rate.
  • The COVID-related hospital bed utilization case rate.
The regulation approved this week will terminate on Feb. 21 without any further action by the Board of Health.

The COVID-19 omicron variant has pushed Montgomery County and other areas of the country into an extended period of high COVID-19 transmission. As of Jan. 27, Montgomery County’s transmission rate is 9.0 percent in seven-day average. The County has recorded 393.3 cases per 100,000 residents during the past seven days.

Students are still required to wear face coverings in schools based on requirements from the Maryland State Department of Education. Face coverings are required on public transportation as required by the Transportation Security Administration.

The updated Board of Health regulation can be viewed here. The Council staff report on the Council deliberations can be viewed here.