ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Woodrow Jones III is urging the faith community to voluntarily comply Governor Larry Hogan's executive orders on social distancing and business closures.
The Governor's Executive Order prohibits groups of more than 10 people from gathering at one location. Those groups must also stay at least six-feet apart from each other
Under Hogan's orders, churches, synagogues, and mosques are not considered essential businesses, requiring them to halt normal operations.
The Governor's Office is allowing for places of worship to hold “drive-in” services, where members can gather in their vehicles near their religious facility or participate remotely.
means, subject to the following requirements, which are intended to protect public health, safety,
Citizens can travel by vehicle to and from their place of worship, as long as there are less than 10 people in the car and they stay inside.
Participants of drive-in gatherings cannot however physically interact with clergy, staff, or participants in other vehicles, which includes collection of donations.
If clergy do choose to have in-person services, it must have less than ten people, and all communication must be done at six or more feet apart. There also has to be a four-hour time period in between in person services. During that time, the facility should be cleaned.
Maryland State Police warn that violators including organizers and attendees can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor offense that could result in up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.