As we near Thanksgiving, the City of Salisbury asks residents to keep these safety guidelines and mandates in mind as you gather with friends and family this Thursday and throughout the weekend. With COVID-19 numbers sharply spiking here in Maryland, it is imperative that we all do what we can this Thursday, and throughout the holiday season to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, and keep our loved ones safe.
For the public’s safety, The City of Salisbury’s gathering restriction is still in effect, which states that no more than 15 people may gather indoors in a private residence. This restriction does not apply to businesses, restaurants, offices, churches, or anywhere business is conducted. Read Salisbury’s gathering restriction here.
Yesterday, Governor Larry Hogan announced the launch of a wide-scale compliance, education, and enforcement operation to slow the spread of the virus and keep Maryland safely open for business. In addition to the state’s traditional efforts ramping up drunk driving patrols and enforcement ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Governor announced the launch of an all-hands-on-deck compliance, education, and enforcement operation which will include:
- The Maryland State Police (MSP) expanding its COVID-19 Compliance and Coordination Center and deploying ‘High Visibility Compliance Units’ across the state. One of these ‘High Visibility Compliance Units’ will be located here, in Downtown Salisbury.
- MSP expanding its 24/7 COVID-19 Prevention Hotline, where members of the public can report unsafe facilities and activities or public health order violations. Marylanders who see unlawful behavior are encouraged to report it by emailing [email protected] or by calling (833) 979-2266.
- On Wednesday, November 25 at approximately 5 p.m., the Maryland Emergency Management Agency will send a wireless emergency alert to cell phones statewide to remind Marylanders of critical COVID-19 prevention measures and provide information regarding state and local law enforcement actions.
The Maryland Department of Health and the CDC strongly recommend:
- That you celebrate with the people in your immediate household. Larger gatherings with people from different households or people who have traveled from states with higher transmission rates, poses a higher risk of spreading infection.
- Do not attend or host any holiday event if you are positive for COVID-19, or if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- Not traveling to states with positivity rates of 10% or higher or any state with average case rates above 20 per 100K.
- If you do gather with people outside of your household, wear a mask, keep your distance, and wash your hands often.
The Maryland Department of Health and the CDC recommend these alternatives to gathering in-person with people outside of your immediate household:
- Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you, where you all schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
- Watch television and play games with people in your household – enjoying Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
- Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch)
“We understand how hard it is to not see family and friends during the holidays, a time meant for gathering with loved ones. But letting our guard down now will mean more infections, a faster spread and more lives lost in the coming weeks,” said City Administrator Julia Glanz. “It’s up to each and every one of us to save lives by skipping the large gathering this year and opt for something smaller with people in our immediate households.”
Access the Maryland Department of Health’s holiday gathering guidelines here and read the CDC’s guidance on celebrating Thanksgiving here.
For more information about coping with anxiety and stress during the pandemic, especially surrounding the holidays, visit the MDH’s page on mental health, stress and anxiety here. If you need to talk, contact Maryland’s Helpline: Call 211 and press 1, text 898-211, or visit pressone.211md.org for information or to chat confidentially about local services and programs