This Week in Coronavirus: Montgomery County

This Week in Coronavirus: Montgomery County

Source: Virginia Department of Health Maryland Department of Health City of Alexandria press releases


County Executive Marc Erlich and Dr. Travis Gayles, chief of public health for Montgomery County on Tuesday as a testing center is set up in White Oak.


Making House Calls. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service ‘EMS Strike Teams’ are additional units similar in concept to Mobile Integrated Health. Staffed by EMT and Paramedic, they can be deployed to help enhance overall community emergency medical and healthcare capability and to preserve resources by responding to calls that do not need emergency transporting to the hospital.

Monday, April 6

Montgomery County Covid-19 Cases: 793

Maryland Cases: 4,045

Montgomery County Deaths: 19

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Montgomery County Covid-19 cases: 693

Maryland Cases: 3,609

Eighty-one nursing homes and long-term care facilities have had residents or staff test positive for COVID-19. New emergency directives require facilities to: direct all staff who interact with residents to wear personal protective equipment; create separate observation and isolation areas for residents; and to expedite all testing through the Maryland State Public Health Laboratory. All personnel who are in close contact with residents of nursing homes shall wear personal protective equipment, including a face mask, appropriate eye protection, gloves and gown. Nursing home residents admitted or seen at a hospital for COVID-19 must be allowed to return to their nursing home as long as the facility can follow the approved CDC recommendations for transmission-based precautions. If the residents must temporarily go to other facilities, every effort must be made by the receiving and original nursing homes to transfer the residents back to their original nursing homes as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 4

Montgomery County Cases: 640

Maryland Cases: 3,125

Friday, April 3

Montgomery County Cases: 566

Maryland Cases: 2,758

Clusters of Covid-19 cases exist in 60 nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state, said Gov. Larry Hogan at a press conference Friday, April 3. “The virus is everywhere and it is a threat to nearly everyone,” said Hogan. “Sadly we have five infants who have been affected, including a one-month-old. The reality is this disease does not discriminate and no one is immune.”

Hogan announced a series of financial relief initiatives to provide further assistance to millions of Marylanders and small businesses who are facing economic hardships due to COVID-19. Nearly 70 of Maryland’s largest banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, state agencies, and other financial entities have collaborated to provide additional flexibility to borrowers. Hogan expanded protections for renters, prohibiting residential evictions arising from a tenant’s substantial loss of income due to COVID-19. That is now extended to commercial and industrial evictions. The order also protects homeowners from foreclosure, and prohibits repossession of cars and trucks, mobile homes, trailers and live-aboard boats.

Marylanders may be eligible for the following opportunities upon contacting their financial service providers: Mortgage lenders and servicers will provide up to a 90-day forbearance or deferral period for mortgage payments. Mortgage lenders and servicers will not charge late fees, nor report negative information to the credit bureaus, during that period.

Thursday, April 2

Montgomery County Cases: 498

Maryland Cases: 2,331

A three-month old boy in Montgomery County tested positive for COVID-19. “This disease has no boundaries when it comes to who it affects,” said County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles. The baby was diagnosed, treated and released from a hospital outside the county. Four more people in Montgomery County, two men in their 70s, one in his 80s and another in his 40s, died due to the virus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Ten Montgomery County nursing homes reported cases of COVID-19 among staff or residents, reported by Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, April 2, including:

The Angels Garden in Rockville – one confirmed case, a man in his 70s, whose death was one of four reported by Health and Human Services on Thursday, April 2

Brighton Gardens in North Bethesda – one confirmed case of a staff member previously reported on March 27

Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville – one resident tested positive

Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda – one confirmed case of a resident with COVID-19

Close contacts of the individuals who tested positive have been notified, and advised to self-quarantine. These nursing homes have enhanced infection control procedures, including physical separation of residents to lower risk of exposure; have instituted no new admissions; and have cancelled group gatherings and activities. Visitor restrictions have been in place for several weeks at nursing homes throughout the county.

Facing a critical shortage of protective equipment for first responders and medical personnel, Montgomery County requests donations from the public of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially gloves, N95 masks, disposable gowns and face shields.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Montgomery County Cases: 447

Maryland Cases: 1,985

A man in his 60s was the second person in Montgomery County who died from COVID-19, according to county reports on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The man was admitted to the hospital on Friday, March 27 and tested, and died several hours later. County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said “while it is a public health priority to share information with the public about cases and deaths, it is also a priority to protect an individual’s privacy and allow their family to grieve.” Based upon the contact investigation, the man acquired the virus through community transmission. Community transmission means there is no clear source and the case is not tied to travel or any known case.

The C&O Canal National Historical Park has closed visitor centers and restroom facilities, select parking lot gates, and campground reservations. The park will limit National Park Service staffing in the Park to those who are critical to law enforcement, public safety, and urgent repairs and maintenance. Handles for water pumps have also been removed.

Tuesday, March 31

Montgomery County Cases: 388

Maryland Cases: 1,660

County Police address the stay-at-home directive: “We will not randomly stop community members for compliance checks of the Governor’s orders; If we encounter people via a traffic stop, police call for service, investigations or a gathering of individuals, we will inquire if individuals are in compliance with the Governor’s Order,” according to police. Per Montgomery County policy, officers will not ask any community members of their immigration status.

A temporary eviction moratorium in Montgomery County and the State of Maryland prohibits landlords from physically removing renters from their homes for any reason. Also, evictions may not happen without an eviction order, which cannot occur as long as Maryland courts are closed. Maryland courts are currently closed through May 1. See

The Public Health Emergency Grant Program enables the County Executive to provide $20 million in grant funding (up to $75,000 each) to small businesses and nonprofits financially distressed by the coronavirus, and an additional $6 million in funding – $5 million for direct financial assistance to Montgomery County residents and $1 million to support safety net services through the Department of Health and Human Services. Grant funding must be used for employee wages and benefits, taxes, debt, rent or other operating losses during the public health emergency.

The Council approved $250,000 to provide lodging at a greatly reduced cost for critical personnel (medical professionals, first responders and other staff) on the front lines of efforts to contain and mitigate the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. “The goal of this funding is to ensure that nurses, technicians and other critical hospital employees can get more rest and recovery time during the expected surge of COVID-19 cases,” said Councilmember Hans Riemer. “Many hospital employees commute over long distances, but soon they may be needed around the clock for days and weeks at a time.” The Conference and Visitors’ Bureau of Montgomery County, Maryland Inc. will work with County hotel and motel operators who are willing to provide lodging to these critical personnel at a greatly reduced cost.

The county’s COVID-19 website gives residents more information on the confirmed cases and virus-related deaths in the county. The confirmed cases and deaths are displayed by gender and age range. “What the data shows is that the largest age group affected up to now has been residents between the ages 18 and 49 years of age,” said County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles. “The information helps us determine what protective actions residents should be taking and helps everyone understand how COVID-19 is impacting our community.”

Council unanimously approves $260,000 to support the efforts of Manna Food Center in addressing the increasing levels of food insecurity of children and families due to Covid-19 related school closures and economic impact. Councilmember Craig Rice said the school system has implemented Grab-and-Go meal distribution at more than 45 locations in the county, and MANNA Food Center has collaborated with MCPS to address the weekend gap by providing Smart Sacks on Fridays to children and their families. “This additional funding will support Manna as it expands its food delivery programs to support our students and families who are unable to access the MCPS distribution sites at this critical time of need,” said Rice. See for more ways to help.

On Monday, April 6, Montgomery County reported that a staff member at the correctional facility in Boyds, Md. tested positive for COVID-19. The employee had last worked on March 26, and is doing well, without symptoms, according to a county press release. The Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation had implemented a number of procedures to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 among inmates or staff at all of its facilities, including establishing quarantine housing if anyone tests positive for the virus, suspending outside programs and visits, reducing comingling of inmates, allowing inmates two free 15-minute phone calls per week, and education and communication with staff and inmates about the ways to stop the spread of the diseases. Facilities have established cleaning schedules with increased frequency for all high-traffic areas and instituted a temperature check protocol for anyone who enters one of its facilities.

Seven-day frozen meal packs remain a lifeline for many seniors, provided by teamwork of the Department of Health and Human Services, the county’s recreation department and Jewish Council for the Aging. After the closure of senior centers and recreational centers, the groups began making frozen meal packs available to seniors through the County’s Senior Nutrition Program on March 18.

This federal, state and locally funded program, in place in the County for more than 25 years, serves over 25,000 meals a month to about 2,500 seniors. Over the years, this program has grown to serving seniors in more than 40 locations year-round and up to 56 locations throughout the County during the winter months when the Cold Box Meals program operates.

Monday, March 30

Montgomery County Cases: 341

Maryland Cases: 1,413

Governor Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home directive as Maryland reached 1,413 cases of COVID-19, 341 in Montgomery County. Two days before, the Carroll County Health Department announced 66 residents at a nursing home in Mount Airy tested positive for coronavirus.

“We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home, we are directing them to do so,” Hogan said. “No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes.”

Hogan provided an update on the $175 million economic relief package, authorizing an additional $2 million to the state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, bringing this fund to a total of $9 million, and providing $8.8 million to more than 400 small businesses across the state to help more than 8,000 Marylanders who work in small businesses keep their jobs. See