xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Citing improving COVID numbers, Howard eases capacity restrictions on weddings, recreational sports

After citing declining COVID-19 positivity rates, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Wednesday announced relaxed capacity restrictions on recreational sports, social and fraternal organization, and wedding receptions.

Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Howard will match statewide standards and allow for wedding receptions, as well as social and fraternal organizations, to host up to 50% capacity; indoor recreational sports and programs to host 50% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less; and outdoor recreational sports and programs to host 50% capacity or 250 people, whichever is less.

Advertisement

“Howard County has seen a consistent decline in our key metrics over the past two weeks, and we’re very grateful to our residents and businesses who have taken precautions throughout this winter surge to slow the spread the virus,” Ball said in a statement. “This is a step in the right direction and we must stay vigilant to keep our data trending downward.”

The announcement comes on the day of the lowest seven-day average positivity rate since Nov. 8. On Wednesday, the Howard County Health Department reported a 3.8% positivity rate and a case rate of 13.2 per 100,000 residents, also reported as a seven-day rolling average.

Advertisement
Advertisement

School system spokesperson Brian Bassett said Wednesday the newly eased capacity limits don’t change how high school sports will operate. The school system is bound by the state’s capacity restrictions, he said, which were already the same as what Howard County just changed for rec sports.

The fall sports season, which was postponed in August, began Saturday, with competitions starting March 6.

While high school practices and games can go on as planned, the next question many in the community have is whether spectators will be allowed for those sporting events. Bassett said the school system is still working on the logistics regarding how to allow spectators while also abiding by the state’s capacity limits and safety guidelines.

“We do want to have spectators,” Bassett said. “That is our goal.”

Advertisement

The gathering limits of 10 people maximum indoors and 25 people outdoors is still in place for family gatherings, parties, cookouts, parades, festivals, conventions and fundraisers. Restaurants and retail businesses remain at 50% capacity as well.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement