RELEASE: Mayor Young and Health Commissioner release COVID-19 Guidance for Mass Gatherings

RELEASE: Mayor Young and Health Commissioner release COVID-19 Guidance for Mass Gatherings

Bernard C. “Jack” Young
Mayor,
City of Baltimore
250 City Hall • Baltimore, Maryland 21202 • 410-396-3835
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 12, 2020
Contact:
James E. Bentley II
james.bentley2@baltimorecity.gov
443-257-9794 (Mobile)


PRESS RELEASE
Mayor Young and Health Commissioner release COVID-19 Guidance for Mass Gatherings

BALTIMORE, MD. — Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa have created a guidance for all event organizers in Baltimore City.


Older people over the age of 60, and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, may be at greater risk of serious COVID-19 illness. Persons at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should stay home and away from crowded social gatherings as much as possible. These types of gatherings include, but are not limited to; parades, conferences, sporting events, and concerts where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.


“We understand these recommendations will have a large impact on the lives of individuals in our City. City officials weighed the potential benefits to our City’s health with the significant disruptive effect that the recommendations could have, but acknowledging the increased risk that COVID-19 has for older adults and people with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, we found it necessary to make these determinations for the public welfare of our communities” says Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, Health Commissioner for Baltimore City.


These mass gathering guidelines, effective immediately, ask event organizers to consider both the number of people attending the event, as well as specific features of the space the event is being held.


Large events (more than 250 people): Event organizers should consider canceling or postponing the event.


Medium events (100-250 people): Consider the following recommendations when determining event cancellation or postponement:


Size: Smaller is better. Smaller events can limit the spread of illnesses through communities.
Density: If the venue or setting doesn’t enable people to keep social distance (more than arm’s length of one another), the risk of spreading the virus increases. People should avoid crowded places where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.


Small events (<100 people): Event organizers should urge anyone who is sick to not attend, encourage those who are at higher risk for serious illness to not attend, find ways to give people more physical space and reduce close contact as much as possible.