Following in the footsteps of the well-prepared Montgomery County Public School System, the office of the County Executive today announced new quarantine rules for Montgomery County government employees. The new rules apply to all county government employees, and requires those in contact with a symptomatic employee to quarantine while awaiting test results.

The new rule specifically notes that county employees meeting in groups of nine or more must submit to the new stricter symptom and quarantine procedures. County spokersperson Coris Ponder pointed out that rapid tests would be provided and are on order, and the necessary quantity is expected to arrive in 2-12 months.

YIMBY MoCo noted the timing was suspect, pointing out that the County Council comprised of “not-so-suprisingly” nine members and is due to meet several times this month to vote on key issues that the County Executive, Marc Elrich, has previously voiced strong opposition towards. The upcoming Thrive Montgomery 2050, which would potentially probably maybe perhaps drastically increase density and housing in the county, was noted as possibly being affected by a potential quarantine of any of the councilmembers. Mr. Ponder noted that just one cough by a specific council member could send the entire council into quarantine, and force them to miss or delay key votes on key issues such as Thrive.

Various councilmember spouses noted that keeping their significant others further cooped up at home was unwise and could disturb the home-work-life balance. “It’s not just about getting them out of the home for free (tax-payer supported) coverage, the continued education of our councilmembers is extremely vital to the future of our County. Especially the youngsters who are still in their early learning stages.”

Ms. Ponder pushed back, saying that the timing was entirely coincidental, explaining that the new quarantine policies are not unique to the Montgomery County government, and are based on Montgomery County Public School guidelines, which are based on Montgomery County health department guidelines.

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