County Clarifies Face Covering Guidance with Amended Health Directive

Montgomery County Government has issued a clarification of the face coverings guidelines in an Amended Health Directive issued this week, based on county residents’ questions.

When residents leave their homes, they are required to wear a face-covering when they are likely to contact others who are not members of their household. As a precaution, the county advises residents to carry a face covering with them if they unexpectedly come in close contact with others.

Below is some additional guidance on face coverings from the Amended Health Directive in the county press release:

  • Face coverings must be worn in businesses, office buildings, and other establishments open to the public.

A face covering is not required if you are:

  • Actively eating or drinking.
  • Receiving dental services, shaving, or facial treatments or receiving another service needing access to your face, mouth, or head.
  • Swimming or engaged in another physical activity where the use of a face-covering would pose a bona fide safety risk.
  • Under the age of 18 and are involved in vigorous sports – as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Unable to wear a face-covering due to a medical condition or disability, or are physically unable to remove a mask.
  • Unable to wear a face-covering because it impedes communication by, or with, persons who have a hearing impairment or other disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • At work, and the job’s equipment does not enable you to wear a mask, or wear a mask would endanger public safety.
  • Alone in your office or vehicle.

Earlier this week, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles announced that effective 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, indoor gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited. As part of the order, face coverings are required outdoors and indoors in public facilities.

The announcement came a day after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced new COVID-19 restriction compliance, education, and enforcement operations in Silver Spring and other nightlife hotspots around the state.

County Executive Marc Elrich this week called for a return to Phase 1 of COVID-19 restrictions: “Need to go back to Phase 1. We’re in danger of overwhelming hospitals, the projections for MD aren’t good — small steps won’t bend the curve in the right direction. We need the new Admin to get real assistance to businesses that bear this load. It’s not blue or red; it’s all of us.”

“File:3D medical animation coronavirus structure.jpg” by https://www.scientificanimations.com is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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