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    November 19, 2020


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    Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536

    Charlie Gischlar, Deputy Director, Media Relations, 443-463-7234


    Maryland Health Department issues holiday guidance urging caution with travel and large gatherings


    Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today released holiday guidance for Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, urging families to be extremely cautious with holiday travel and celebrations as infection numbers continue to spike in Maryland and the surrounding region. 

    Maryland is currently experiencing a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations compared to the summer, with more than 174,733 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of today and more than 1,192 patients currently hospitalized. Since the onset of the pandemic, 4,220 Marylanders have died from the virus. 

    “We are all tired of this pandemic and desperately want it to be over, but now is not the time to let our guard down,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “While we tend to feel safe around people we know -- family, friends and neighbors -- the reality is we are experiencing a spike in infections. We have to maintain the habits that help keep us all safe -- wear your mask, wash your hands, maintain social distance and isolate when sick.”


    The MDH Frequently Asked Questions About Holiday Safety are available on the CovidLINK website. These guidelines align with holiday recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommending that Marylanders limit large indoor gatherings with people from different households, avoid unessential travel, and consider alternatives to in-person celebrations. 


    “Holidays are a time to get together with loved ones, but this year festivities bring a real danger of community spread of COVID-19,” said Acting Deputy Secretary of Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan. “We must be extra cautious and look out for each other, which may mean celebrating remotely or gathering with just a few friends and family members from our immediate households. Avoid large gatherings and unnecessary travel in the coming months. This pandemic is far from over.”


    For more information on COVID-19, visit CovidLINK or coronavirus.maryland.gov.


    The CDC guidance for holiday celebrations can be found here




    The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement. 


    Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept and https://www.facebook.com/MDHealthDept.