In response to rising COVID-19 metrics, the Howard County Health Department and County Executive Calvin Ball released guidance for the community on staying safe during upcoming spring religious holidays. The guidance stems directly from recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As of March 30, both the County positivity rate (5.5%) and cases per 100,000 (19.2) are the highest they have been since early February when the winter virus surge was concluding. The County case rate has increased 82.5% over the past 30 days.
“As we’ve stated before, we’re not out of the woods yet, and the COVID-19 virus is still very much present in our community,” said Ball. “While we’ve made great progress in vaccinations, a majority of our community is not yet protected, and we must continue the practices we all know work at this point – wear a mask, keep your distance, avoid large gatherings, and wash your hands. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we can’t let up yet. Please do your part to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
“As we observe a troubling increase in our key COVID-19 metrics, it remains important to practice the same preventative measures we have been following for the last year and remind our friends and family to do the same,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Health Officer. “We continue to encourage cautious celebration of upcoming religious holidays in order to control the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. We should all continue to wear masks, maintain physical distance, avoid travel and avoid large gatherings with friends and family.”
Attending gatherings for any reason, including to observe religious and spiritual holidays and to celebrate with family, increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. The safest way to observe religious and spiritual holidays this year is to gather virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others.
The Howard County Health Department recommends:
- Enjoy traditional meals with those who live with you.
- Practice religious holiday customs at home.
- Prepare and deliver a meal to a neighbor.
- Watch virtual religious and cultural performances.
- Attend religious ceremonies virtually.
- Avoid travel when possible.
- If you plan to celebrate with others, outdoors is safer than indoors.
For more information on how to stay safe during COVID-19, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html.
For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Howard County, visit StayCOVIDSafe.howardcountymd.gov.