Montgomery County health officials encourage more people to be tested following COVID-19 case surge

A surge in COVID-19 cases has Montgomery County health officials making an aggressive push for everyone to get tested.

Officials said, people hanging out in large gatherings or going to sporting events and not keeping social distance, is causing that spike.

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Even though Maryland is currently in phase 3 of reopening, the county chose to stay in phase 2 which could change on Tuesday, when county council will vote on potentially tightening restrictions even more, back to phase 1.
That includes reducing capacity of 50 to 25 percent at serval establishments such as fitness centers, spas, restaurants and bars.

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“It’s the notion of risk assessment where over the summer we didn’t see as many hospitalizations,” said Dr. Travis Gayles, Chief of Public Health Services for Montgomery County.

“And even as we were seeing an increase in cases early on over the last couple weeks, we haven’t seen a comparable increase in hospitalizations, however that is changing as we’re starting to see an uptick in that as well.”There are 200 testing sites in Maryland that are conducting free testing without an appointment. A link to testing sites within the county can be found here.

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“I’m a big proponent of testing,” said Sara Bos in Silver Spring.

“People coming out, whether you are traveling or not, you have contact with other people and being tested is part of the solution to getting ahead of the wave.”