Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, after consultation with County Health Officer Travis Gayles and based on data from contact tracing, has issued an updated executive order that now allows certain additional openings related to the COVID-19 health crisis. Amended Executive Order 098-20 updating Phase 2 guidelines was unanimously approved on Aug. 24 by the County Council and went into effect that day.
The amended executive order includes additional measures to protect the public from the spread of the virus. One measure modifies the definition of face coverings as fully covering a person’s nose, mouth and chin and is secured to the person’s head.
The amended order re-categorizes soccer from a high to medium-risk sport, which means scrimmages and games will now be permitted. The amended order also permits museums, art galleries and bowling alleys to open with restrictions.
Dr. Earl Stoddard, Director for Montgomery County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, addressed the new guidelines regarding the sports changes during a media briefing on August 26, 2020.
The updated executive order:
- Permits museums and art galleries to open with restrictions.
- Permits bowling alleys to open with restrictions.
- Clarifies a requirement for food service facilities to post signs advising customers about face covering and social distancing restrictions.
- Re-categorizes soccer as a medium-risk sport, which permits scrimmages and games to take place.
- Modifies the definition of face covering to include covering the chin, as well as the mouth and nose.
- Continues to prohibit sports tournaments unless the County issues a letter of approval.
- Sets a 50-person limit for all sporting events that includes coaches, participants and spectators.
- Prohibits sporting events with teams from outside the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia.
Officials will continue to review these designations and may alter recommendations for sports if they are deemed to be a safer category.
All sports are categorized by level of risk as detailed in the Maryland Sports Commission Return to Play Committee Report (PDF).
All sports, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor, are limited to low- and medium-risk sports. High-risk sports may engage in practice that involves skills-building and drills.
All tournaments, championships, or events are strictly prohibited, unless a Letter of Approval is issued by the County. Request a Letter of Approval.
Play and games with teams from outside of Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia is prohibited.
Sports may not open to the general public or spectators other than parents, guardians, and immediate family of players. These people may spectate provided they maintain the appropriate social distancing of greater than 6 feet between non-family members.
Rented sport equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected pursuant to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, using EPA-approved cleaners and disinfectants between usage.
Any business providing skill-building drills and team-based practice in Montgomery County for individuals under the age of 18 must comply with Maryland Department of Health’s Amended Directive and Order Regarding Community, Recreational, Leisure, Cultural and Sporting Gatherings and Events (PDF), dated June 12, 2020, and any subsequent amendments thereto.