Montgomery County Executive calls for Phase 1 rollback

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a host of new restrictions last week as the state saw a new resurgence of the novel coronavirus – but at least one county executive is saying that’s not enough.

READ MORE: ‘We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning:’ Maryland Gov Hogan announces new COVID restrictions

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich tweeted around midnight Monday:

“Need to go back to Phase 1. We're in danger of overwhelming hospitals, the projections for MD aren't good - small steps won't bend the curve in the right direction. We need the new Admin to get real assistance to businesses that bear this load. It's not blue or red, it's all of us”

READ MORE: Montgomery County implements tighter restrictions, asks state to do more with COVID-19 guidance

Later, he spoke with FOX 5's Evan Lambert and shared more:

"Hopefully, the governor will do this, but I really think that he's gonna wind up here anyway. If what he does doesn't turn the curve, he's looking at the same reports from Johns Hopkins that we saw. He knows where this goes. So if it doesn't get the curve turned in the next week or so I think he's gonna be back saying folks we just gotta do more," said Elrich.

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The suburban D.C. county implemented new restrictions of its own in November, ordering places including bars, restaurants, salons, bowling alleys and houses of worship to operate at 25 percent capacity down from 50 percent. 

In addition, gatherings have been limited from 50 people to 25 people.

FOX 5 spoke to several members of the county council who approved these measures.

Councilmember Tom Hucker supports Elrich in saying there's a need for a rollback to phase one.

Several councilmembers say they have not discussed a particular phase. They just want any restrictions coordinated with other nearby counties and D.C. to be effective.

We also asked county residents about their thoughts: 

"I would say they have to be careful of using an overly blunt weapon or tool that depresses the local economy and puts a lot of people out of work who don't necessarily make a lot at first," said Liz Smith."

"I think for the protection of all of us we need to get it right and so if it means that type of measure to put us back on the right track I support something," said Brian O'Reilly.