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Press Releases - County Council

Public Hearing Notice on Board of Health Regulation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery County and provide guidance on school graduation ceremonies

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 16, 2021

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 16, 2021—The Montgomery County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, is scheduled to introduce, hold a public hearing, and vote on a Fourth Amended Board of Health Regulation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery County on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.

Council President Hucker and Council Vice President Albornoz have proposed amendments to the current Board of Health Regulation that would add guidance on school graduation ceremonies. The guidance would include the following infectious disease controls:

  • the total number of persons present at an outdoor graduation ceremony must be limited to 50 percent of the outdoor venue’s maximum occupancy;
  • if an outdoor venue does not have a formal certificate of occupancy, 40 square feet per person must be used to calculate the occupancy limit;
  • the total number of persons present at an indoor graduation ceremony is limited to 25 percent of the maximum occupancy or 250 people, whichever is smaller;
  • a school that plans an indoor graduation ceremony must obtain a Letter of Approval for their plan showing how it would meet the general requirements of the regulation;
  • a record of everyone attending the graduation must be kept for 30 days to enable contact tracing;
  • the school must identify a point of contact for an attendee to notify if they test positive for COVID-19 within two weeks after the event, and the point of contact must notify the County's Department of Health and Human Services within one business day of notice of a positive test;
  • no more than 10 people can be on the stage at one time;
  • the ceremony must last no more than two hours;
  • members of the audience from different households must remain at least six feet apart at all times;
  • signage explaining the infectious control requirements must be posted at the venue;
  • no group or staged photography;
  • no congregating or gathering in common areas both inside and outside of the venue before or after the ceremony;
  • a masked speaker must be at least 12 feet from the audience and an unmasked speaker must be at least 18 feet from the audience;
  • diplomas must be distributed without handshakes or physical contact; and
  • no food or beverage concessions at the ceremony.

The deadline to sign up for the public hearing is Monday, April 19 at 5 p.m. As soon as the Board of Health regulation is available it will be posted on the Council's web page.

To sign up to testify, please click here. If you are not available for the public hearing but want to provide testimony to the Council you can do so by submitting written, audio or video testimony here.

More information can be found at the Montgomery County Council's webpage at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council.

NOTE: During the Covid-19 state of emergency, the public is not able to be physically present in the Council Hearing Room. Residents who would like to call in to testify at a Council public hearing need to preregister on the Council's web page at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/calendar.html . Once the public hearing sign up request form is submitted and the public hearing list is created, individuals will receive separate confirmation notifications that include the appropriate phone number to call for the public hearing.

Community members also have the option to provide audio, video and written testimony to the Council using a recently developed online testimony form on the Council's web page which can be found at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/PHSignUp.html. The testimony provided with the online option carries the same weight as testimony given at a public hearing. Councilmembers consider all comments as part of their deliberations.

Comments and suggestions are welcome online at http://tinyurl.com/zrbwh5v; via email at county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov; by sending regular mail to County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. For information or to express an opinion call 240-777-7900.

The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM) on Xfinity channels 6 and 996, RCN channels 6 and 1056; and FiOS channel 30. Also available live via streaming through the Council website at http://tinyurl.com/z9982v8, Facebook Live (@MontgomeryCountyMdCouncil or @ConcejodelCondadodeMontgomery), or YouTube (@MoCoCouncilMD).


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Release ID: 21-158
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931