Civic News

Baltimore cancels events for 250+ people

As coronavirus moved to a "new phase" in Maryland, city officials offered guidance for event organizers.

The crowd at the 2017 Innovation Celebration.

( file photo)

The City of Baltimore is canceling events of more than 250 people for which it granted permits through March 31, city officials said on Thursday. This includes the weekend’s planned St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The announcement came as Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa and city agency leaders offered guidance for event organizers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The goal of this guidance is to protect people attending and working at an event as well as safeguard individuals from the community from potential exposure to COVID-19,” Young said. “We also are seeking to reduce the potential for community transmission, decrease the introduction of COVID-19 into new communities and decrease or slow the potential spread of the virus.”

A number of large tech events have already announced cancellations. Now the city is saying to postpone or cancel the following:

  • Any large event with 250+ expected attendees
  • “Mass gatherings” where people are within arm’s length of each other
  • Any event geared toward people that are at increased risk of severe illness

Officials also offered guidance for different sizes of events. Find the full report on the City’s website.

For medium events of 100 to 250 people, the city, said, “smaller is better.” It also advised venues to allow people to keep “social distance” and advised to avoid crowded places.

For events with less than 100 people, it advised to encourage people to keep a distance and stay home if they were sick or at-risk. It also advised to clean surfaces, provide soap or sanitizer, and provide alternatives via the web.

The guidance came after Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland had confirmed its first case of coronavirus via community transmission. Hogan also closed public schools through March 27. The case in Prince George’s County represented a “new phase” of the response, Young said.


“I want to assure our residents and visitors that your health and safety remain my top priority” the mayor said. “While we have yet to have a positive test result in Baltimore, today’s news indicates that reality is not far away.”

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