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Update from the Superintendent: Graduations, Athletics Attendance and Outdoor Mask Requirements, May 14, 2021

May 14th, 2021

Update May 17, 2021

Update on Graduations and Athletics Mask Requirements

The following statement was issued by HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano on May 14, 2021:

On Wednesday of this week, Governor Larry Hogan announced new state orders, effective this Saturday, May 15, 2021, which ease outdoor masking requirements and expand allowable attendance at outdoor venues. This easing of restrictions is a direct result of individuals becoming vaccinated at an expedited rate and in light of the lowering COVID-19 case rates in Howard County and across Maryland.

Based on these new orders, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is implementing the following updates:

In alignment with the Governor’s new orders, Merriweather Post Pavilion has eased attendance restrictions for this year’s high school graduation ceremonies and we expect to accommodate additional guests. We are currently working with Merriweather staff to determine the exact number of additional tickets each graduate will receive based on venue logistics and will communicate that early next week. Masks will be required at all times at the graduation venue and physical distancing is advised for all unvaccinated individuals.

Beginning Saturday, May 15, 2021, attendance at all HCPSS outdoor athletic venues will be opened to full capacity. In alignment with the State’s orders, all attendees other than competing student-athletes must wear masks and physical distancing is advised for all unvaccinated individuals.

Outdoor Mask Requirements
Also beginning Saturday, May 15, 2021, HCPSS will no longer require masks to be worn outdoors while on school property, other than at athletic contests noted above. This includes outdoor recess, eating school meals outdoors, physical education classes, and other times when students, staff and/or visitors are outside on school grounds. Masks may still be worn based on individual discretion, and social distancing during these times continues to be strongly encouraged to the extent possible. Masks will also continue to be required inside schools based on the State’s orders.

I am pleased that we have made tremendous progress and that this easing of restrictions is finally possible. I remind the entire Howard County community to continue to follow healthy and safe practices that prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to take advantage of the many vaccination opportunities available in our community.