COVID-19 Updates: We Cannot Stop Now

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May 11, 2020 |  Bookmark and Share

A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

County Executive Marc Elrich

Dear Friends,

I think all of us are grappling with the ongoing toll of physical distancing. I’m just like you. I want to go out, get together with friends, or go to a restaurant. But I realize, and hope you understand, that we’re not ready for that yet. We are working toward a gradual reopening, but we cannot do so until the public health and science guidance recommend it.

The number of residents with COVID-19 in Montgomery County continues to grow. We are the largest county in Maryland and have the second highest number of cases in the State. Unlike other areas such as western Maryland, we have many more densely populated areas. We need to base our reopening on the facts, or otherwise we are going to end up repeating what we are going through right now. 

One of the most important tools needed for a successful reopening is testing, and we are in the process of scaling ours up. We are contracting with additional sources of testing, and we have companies lined up to process those tests. We have already increased our testing substantially and will be doing even more, soon.

Continuing to stay at home, and only traveling when it is absolutely necessary, is in all of our best interests. Our actions are helping to minimize the spread and a possible second wave. It would be a huge mistake to let up too soon and have this expand even further.

And while you’re at home – please remember to vote! This primary has been changed to a mail-in election. You should be receiving a ballot to fill out and return soon. If you don’t receive it by this Friday, contact the Board of Elections. You can check whether you’re registered by going to visit the voter lookup tool of the Maryland State Board of Elections or text CHECK to 77788. The primary election date has been changed to June 2 (even though the ballot you receive will have the original April 28 date). For more information, go to the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Please hang in there with us. We will update you frequently. Ultimately, we need to make local decisions that are based on the local conditions here in Montgomery County. We want everyone to be safe as we consider what is right for our community. 

Marc Elrich

Marc Elrich, County Executive


Reopening Info

stay at home

There are new guidelines about acceptable outdoor recreation in Maryland. Governor Hogan has said it is ok to participate in activities such as boating, camping, fishing, horseback riding, hunting and driving in off-road vehicles. But remember, they can only be done with members of your household. Tennis and golf do not have the household restrictions. Regardless, when you are around other people, Montgomery County’s Public Health Officer says it is still necessary to wear a face covering. For more information about these newly permitted activities, see MD Outdoor Activities Information.


Watch Dr. Gayles Video

Time Warp: Transit Riders with Face Coverings

transit riders in time

Everything old is new again! The last time the whole world was severely impacted by a global health crisis was the 1918 flu pandemic. Even 102 years ago, people knew wearing face coverings was an important step in protecting everyone in their community. In the photo on the left, a trolley conductor in Seattle warned a rider that he needed a face covering to board. The photo on the right is a current Ride On driver wearing a protective face covering.  

Please remember that although our Ride On buses are free, they should only be used for essential trips. State guidelines say, when you are on the bus, you are required to wear a face covering. A very limited supply is available on some routes as part of a pilot program for passengers without them. Visit the Ride On Essential Modified Service Plan page to learn more about how to safely use our public transit.


Ride On Info

Leave No Neighbor Behind: Knights of Columbus Donates Food to Local Hospitals

knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus members in Silver Spring and Kensington have a long tradition of hands-on volunteer work in their community. But sheltering in place makes those efforts challenging. Recently, members wanted to support our hard working first responders and help out small local businesses. The result: They have partnered with locally owned 4 Corners Pub in Silver Spring to provide meals to nurses, doctors, and hospital staff on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

They have already provided meals to more than 700 workers at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Adventist White Oak Medical Center, and the VA Hospital in Washington, DC. They plan to make another delivery to MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney on May 14.

“It started small and grew big,” said Russell R. Sutton Jr., Knights of Columbus member. “The 455 members of our organization stepped up and made a difference,” which is all part of the organization’s "Leave No Neighbor Behind" program.

We truly appreciate all who want to be involved as we face this emergency together. To find out more about how you can help, please visit the Montgomery County Volunteer Center’s COVID-19 website.


Click Here to Help

Local Company Pivots to Making Masks

local company pivots to making masks

"Listen to your mother" is great advice; but it has been a particularly good source of guidance for Montgomery County small business owner, Dan Walsh.

Walsh owns Lightning Wear Apparel in Kensington. When 75 percent of his sports uniform business dried up because of COVID-19, his mother suggested the company start making masks. Since mid-March he has made 60,000 masks. They have been purchased by cleaning companies, roofing contractors and hospitals. He’s even sent some of the State flag masks to Marylanders now living overseas.


Watch Their Story

Muslim Community Gives Back

muslim community gives back

While the work of the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation (MCMF) usually focuses on Gaithersburg, Germantown and Rockville, during the COVID-19 pandemic they have stepped up for all Montgomery County residents. Early in the response to the pandemic, members of the group contacted the Food Security Task Force and asked how they could help.

Last week, 300 boxes of food were packaged by MCMF volunteers to help families in need who are served by the Linkages to Learning program at Greencastle Elementary School in Silver Spring. Staff from the County’s Department of General Services picked up several pallets of boxed food and delivered it to the school for families to pick up.

The mission of the MCMF is to “undertake initiatives and programs to feed the hungry and homeless, help the needy among us to live a better life, and to create a hunger-free and hate-free society.”

The Montgomery County Food Security Task Force is a collaboration of the County Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Food Council, and other nonprofit organizations.


Click Here to Help