Council Approves Order Loosening Some COVID-19 Restrictions

The County Council yesterday approved a revised executive order from County Executive Marc Elrich that loosens some restrictions imposed on activities to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council, sitting as the Board of Health, then adopted Executive Order No. 098-20, COVID-19 Local Order – Amending and Restating Order dated August 5, 2020, as a Board of Health regulation.

The order now permits museums, art galleries and bowling alleys to open and operate with restrictions.

For example, bowling alleys will be limited to 50% occupancy, or a maximum of 50 people, whichever is lower. Museums and galleries will be limited to one patron per 200 square feet of indoor space, and any exhibits that require a touch must remain closed.

In addition, the order reclassifies soccer as a medium-risk, rather than high-risk, sport. This change brings the county’s classification in line with the state’s Maryland Sports Commission Return to Play Committee Report.

Soccer games and scrimmages will now be permitted, though sports tournaments are still banned unless the county issues a letter of approval.

The order also sets a 50-person limit on all sporting events, including coaches, participants and spectators, and prohibits such events with teams from outside the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia.

Other changes include:

  • Clarifying a requirement for food service facilities to post signs advising customers about face covering and social distancing restrictions, and
  • Modifying the definition of “face covering” to include covering the chin, as well as the mouth and nose.

The revised order went into effect yesterday, Aug. 24, at 5 p.m.

Montgomery County graphic

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