Socializing & Recreation Guidance

Effective Tuesday, February 1, 2022, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has lifted Howard County's indoor mask mandate. Click here for more information.

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When a local jurisdiction’s community transmission level is considered substantial or high, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public spaces to reduce the risk of being infected with COVID-19 and possibly spreading it to others.
  • Everyday activities should be limited to reduce spread and protect the health care system.
  • Practice everyday preventative actions, including: washing your hands often, maintain six feet of physical distance, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas, cover coughs and sneezes, frequently disinfect commonly-touched surfaces.
  • You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
  • If you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. Fully vaccinated/boosted individuals (or those not yet eligible for a booster): You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days following exposure. Unvaccinated/individuals who have not been boosted: You should stay at home for 5 days, if possible, and then wear a mask indoors in public for 5 additional days following exposure. Everyone should isolate for 5 days (or longer if symptoms remain) if your test result is positive and wear a mask indoors in public for an additional five days.
  • Businesses and other workplaces may set their own policies to protect public health as they deem appropriate.

Regardless of community transmission level, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals wear a face covering in indoor settings and situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Track the latest County-level data from the CDC here.

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