This information sent via email in the latest The Ball Bulletin:
As was largely anticipated, we have seen a dramatic increase in COVID-19 spread throughout our community and it is up to all of us to change these trends. As of 9:00 a.m. today and according to the Maryland Department of Health, our 7-day average positivity rate is at 4.89% and our average case count per 100,000 of our population is 26.45. While we are among the lower third of jurisdictions in positivity rates, it has significantly increased from 2.57% this time last month.
At the Howard County General Hospital, our unit utilization rates are 54.5% in our ICU Unit, 82.5% in our Acute Care Unit, and 21.3% of our ventilators are in use. Today, there are 34 COVID-19 patients in both ICU and Acute Care units and 48 beds are available in both units. As we see more hospitalizations on the rise, we are in a heightened monitoring state.
At this point there is widespread community transmission of COVID-19, and every individual action we take is vital to controlling and limiting the further spread of this virus. Effective Friday, November 27th, at 5:00 p.m., our social gathering limits will include weddings, recreational sports and programs, and social/fraternal organizations and association clubs. Additionally, the Department of Recreation & Parks is canceling all upcoming tournaments, and any other programs subject to change will be posted online here.
The alarms are sounding, and if you haven’t already, please rethink any plans to host or attend a large gathering with family and friends. Especially with the upcoming holidays, it is critical for all our residents to understand the importance of mitigation measures like wearing a mask, keeping their distance, and washing their hands frequently.
Other notable updates in that email:
Recreation & Parks Updates
All outdoor sports facilities, athletic fields, playgrounds, courts and skate parks are limited to 25 people or less. For sports participants, only one parent or guardian is allowed to be in attendance. Each parent or guardian must wear a mask and may not enter the playing field. All players and coaches must wear a mask when entering and exiting the park and field.
All sports tournaments have been cancelled.
The Worthington Dog Park will be limited to 25 visitors per field (the park has two fields). All visitors to the park must wear a mask at all times.
Our RecZone child care program and school-related services will operate with a 15 person limit per room and will follow strict COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and Howard County Office of Child Care.
Please note that our parks and facilities will remain open at this time. All programs subject to change will be posted online here.