Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced Howard County will align with Governor Hogan’s COVID-19 restrictions, lifting capacity limits on restaurants, retail, religious facilities, fitness centers, and personal services effective Friday, March 12th at 5:00 p.m. The Governor’s order also increased capacity at large venues to 50% and removed the out-of-state quarantine mandate. Effective March 12th at 5:00 p.m. Howard County’s previous limits for indoor or outdoor social gatherings will also be lifted.
“During the last month, we have seen our key metrics trending in the right direction, and significantly decreasing from the peak of our holiday surge,” said Ball. “We will continue watching our data very closely over the next two weeks, and if aligning with the Governor’s decision is detrimental to the health and welfare of our residents, we will not hesitate to reimpose restrictions. It is vital that our residents and businesses continue to adhere to the mask mandate and physical distancing – these two tools are critical to our recovery. Howard County residents are also encouraged to continue getting tested regularly, and especially if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms.”
“The Health Department tracks COVID-19 data on a daily basis and the most important metrics in Howard County remain stable,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Health Officer. “While these limitations are being eased, it remains important that we all follow the same prevention measures of wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, washing our hands, and getting the vaccine when able to prevent another spike in COVID-19 cases in our community.”
Physical Distancing Required, Capacity Limits Lifted
· All indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants. Dining must be seated and follow distance guidelines.
· Religious facilities
· Gyms/Fitness centers
· Indoor recreation
· Bingo halls
· Skating rinks
50% Capacity at Large Venues
Masking and physical distancing measures still in place. Includes:
· Concert venues
· Wedding venues
· Racing facilities
· Outdoor entertainment and sporting facilities
Howard County residents should continue to get tested for COVID-19, especially if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, were exposed to someone who tested positive, have recently traveled, or attended a large gathering. There are more than 10 testing locations throughout Howard County. To find a location, please visit: hchealth.org.