While the number of cases has slightly declined in the region, officials said Wednesday they are making preparations for a possible second wave of coronavirus infections.
Montgomery County officials said they have been stockpiling personal protective equipment in preparation for a potential surge of cases this fall.
Earl Stoddard, the county’s head of emergency management, said during a weekly news conference that Montgomery has more than 4 million face masks available for first responders, significantly more than the 30,000 it had at the start of the pandemic.
“We are preparing for a second wave and we’re expecting our partners to do the same,” he said.
County officials said they will inform residents in the coming weeks about metrics that would lead the county to join other Maryland jurisdictions in the third phase of reopening or to reinstitute restrictions to curb further spread. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties opted out of Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) statewide move to Phase 3 earlier this month.
“Right now, we’re in a fork in the road,” Stoddard said.
The county’s rolling seven-day average of new cases Wednesday stood at 76, which is the lowest since Sept. 1. Montgomery averages about one virus-related death daily.
D.C., Maryland and Virginia on Wednesday reported 994 new infections — the lowest number in a single day since July 6. Virginia had 580 new cases and 29 deaths; Maryland had 385 new cases and seven deaths; D.C. had 29 new cases and no deaths.
The number of infections Wednesday in Virginia also was the lowest in a single day since July 6, although the state’s death toll remains elevated after a backlog announced last week that included deaths over the past month.
Virginia’s rolling seven-day average number of fatalities is 29, up from eight to start last week. The continuing backlog accounted for 22 of the new deaths reported Wednesday in the state. Virginia health officials said backlogged numbers will be included in the state’s numbers through Friday.
In Maryland, state health officials reported the state hit a record-low seven-day test positivity rate of 2.6 percent.
Dana Hedgpeth and Justin Wm. Moyer contributed to this report.