(Editor’s note: The following are Pandemic Orders and Guidance from the Governor’s Office. The guidance provided is not legal advice from the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.)
On March 9, Governor Hogan announced updated Covid-19 guidance to go into effect at 5:00 PM on March 12. The impact of this guidance as it relates to Maryland churches is summarized below:
A. Capacity limits have been lifted and no longer apply.
B. Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols remain in place.
C. Depending upon the size and layout of a church’s meeting space, the physical distance requirement may continue to restrict the ability of churches to have increased capacity. Although capacity limits are no longer limited, churches should continue to maintain 6-foot separation between family groupings.
D. Groups meeting on your campus or groups that meet in other locations representing your church should continue to maintain social distancing and masking (if meeting indoors).
E. For now, churches meeting indoors should continue to require masking for any individual over the age of 5, regardless of vaccination status of attendees. Maryland’s statewide masking order remains in full force and effect.
F. Local governments are still authorized to keep stricter rules in place; therefore, churches should check with their county governing authorities to determine whether additional restrictions may apply.
The BCM/D will continue to monitor future developments and seek to communicate additional changes to this guidance when it occurs. This current proclamation evidences a step in a positive direction for the ability of BCM/D churches to more effectively fulfill their mission. Let us continue to maintain a positive witness in our communities by following reasonable guidance and doing our part to ensure a swifter end to this pandemic.