FREDERICK, Md. – To slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, indoor social gatherings of all kinds should be limited to no more than 15 people in Frederick County, under an advisory issued jointly today by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and Health Officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among county residents reached 8,226 on Thursday, with 152 new cases in the past 24 hours. Hospitalizations for the virus are at record highs. Large gatherings can become super-spreading events. The joint advisory follows a recommendation from Johns Hopkins University and other national public health experts.
“We know the virus spreads when people are around others for an extended time,” Executive Gardner said Thursday. “By keeping gatherings small, we can slow the spread and prevent overwhelming our health care system.”
In addition to the 15-person limit on gatherings, large indoor recreation establishments will have their capacities reduced as of 5 p.m. Friday, December 11, under Executive Order 07-2020. Indoor recreation establishments include bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller and ice skating rinks, and social and fraternal clubs. A statewide restriction currently limits all indoor recreation to 50% capacity. If that reduced capacity limit would allow more than 50 people, the County order would then lower that facility’s limit to 25% capacity. The 25% cap also applies in areas where food and beverages are served within those recreation facilities.
The Executive Order and joint advisory can be found online at FrederickCountyMD.gov/Coronavirus.
*This release has been updated to clarify that the advisory refers to social gatherings.