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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles issued an Amended Health Directive that limits indoor gatherings to 10 people and updates the County’s face coverings guidelines. Based on the questions that the County has received from residents about the face covering guidance, the following is a clarification of the face coverings guidelines in the directive. 

When residents leave their homes, they are required to wear a face covering when they are likely to come in contact with others who are not members of their household. As a precaution, residents are advised to always carry a face covering with them just in case they unexpectedly come in close contact with others. Below is some additional guidance on face coverings from the Health Directive. 



  • Face coverings must be worn in businesses, office buildings, and other establishments open to the public.


A face covering is not required if you are: 

  • Actively eating or drinking.

  • Receiving dental services, shaving, or facial treatments or receiving another service requiring access to your face, mouth, or head.

  • Swimming or engaged in another physical activity where the use of a face covering would pose a bona fide safety risk.

  • Under the age of 18 and are engaged in vigorous sports – as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability, or are physically unable to remove a mask.

  • Unable to wear a wearing a face covering because it impedes communication by, or with, persons who have a hearing impairment or other disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

  • At work and the equipment required for the job does not enable you to wear a mask or wearing a mask would endanger public safety.

  • Alone in your office or vehicle.

The new face covering guidelines outlined in the Health Directive are designed to help protect residents and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Residents are strongly urged to wear a mask whenever they are in public places and may encounter others. Whether you are out walking or jogging, wearing a mask when you are likely to be within six feet of someone, even if it is solely in passing, is required.

For the latest COVID-19 County updates, visit the County’s website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCountyMD

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Release ID: 20-730
Media Contact: Barry Hudson 240-300-7348