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Montgomery County could bring back its indoor mask mandate on Nov. 3

Health officials point to COVID-19 transmission numbers as a reason to bring back the mandate, which ended on October 28.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Montgomery County could bring back its indoor mask mandate just days after it ended. That's according to acting Montgomery County health officer Dr. James Bridgers. 

Dr. Bridgers notified the Montgomery County Council on Saturday that the county returned to "substantial transmission" of COVID-19 based on CDC guidelines. 

Under Board of Health regulations, that means mandating masks indoors will resume starting Wednesday, November 3 at 12:01 a.m. unless action is taken by the Board of Health to amend the regulation. As it stands now, if the county's rate of transmission increases to substantial transmission at any time during or after the seven-day period, the indoor mask mandate returns.

RELATED: Map: View COVID-19 transmission rates in your area

County Executive Marc Elrich announced that the indoor mask mandate would come to an end on October 28, when the county's transmission rate dropped to "moderate." But numbers have begun to move in the wrong direction, according to health officials.

RELATED: Montgomery County ends indoor mask mandate just in time for Halloween

In early August, the Montgomery County Council, acting as the Board of Health, voted unanimously to require that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings indoors once Montgomery County became an area of “substantial transmission” of COVID-19.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommendation in July that jurisdictions with substantial or high transmission rates of COVID-19 should require that masks be worn indoors. The CDC defines substantial transmission as 50-99 cases per 100,000 residents over a period of seven days.

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