News & Politics

The Indoor Mask Mandate in Montgomery County Is Now in Limbo

Masks were going to be required again beginning November 3. But a vote tomorrow may delay things.

Photograph by kovop58, via iStock.

Update: County officials announced today that they may amend regulations tomorrow to say that the mask mandate would not be triggered unless “substantial transmission” occurs over seven consecutive days, a change from the current policy triggering the mandate. October 30 was the first day of what the CDC calls substantial transmission (50 to 99 people per 100,000 testing positive); seven days from then is Friday, November 5. Thus, if the council passes its amendment, the mask mandate would not take effect on Wednesday, November 3—but it could be reinstated next week if seven straight days of substantial transmission come to pass.

That was fast: After Montgomery County lifted its mask mandate Thursday, October 28, masks will once again be required indoors beginning Wednesday, November 3

The mandate was originally lifted after seven consecutive days of less than 50 cases of Covid per 100,000 people, which the CDC considers “moderate transmission.” 

As of Monday, November 1, the county reported about 51.2 people per 100,000 testing positive over the previous week, denoting “substantial transmission” (50-99.99 cases per 100,000 people or 8-9.99 percent positivity rate). The seven-day average positivity rate is 1.5 percent, compared to Maryland’s statewide rate of 3.06 percent.

Prince George’s County’s indoor mask mandate is currently in place through December 9, and DC’s indoor mask mandate has been in place since July.  

Jason Fontelieu
Editorial Fellow