County outlines restrictions that allow live outdoor performances

County outlines restrictions that allow live outdoor performances

Safety plans must be approved before each show

| Published:
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Montgomery County has released official guidance on live outdoor performances, which will now be allowed under certain restrictions.

Venues must submit a request for an approval letter from the county and follow certain guidelines for employees, performers, crews and audience members.

The performances can have a maximum of 50 people. Spectators must be seated six feet apart.

“This is a delicate balance, which is why we’re beginning cautiously,” County Executive Marc Elrich, said in a news release on Thursday. “We are trying to find ways to allow performances while we are continuing to look at the intractability of our case count numbers — they are not going down in any consistent manner — we have to keep that constantly in mind as we make adjustments.”

Other requirements for outdoor performances include:
● Only advance tickets can be sold. One person from each party must provide contact information for contact tracing.
● All audience members and venue employees must wear face coverings at all times.
● Venues must regularly sanitize surfaces and common areas after each performance.
● Temperature checks must be administered on each staff member prior to each day of performances.
● Surveys of each audience member’s health status must be done when entering venues.
● Performers must have a COVID-19 test before the run of the show and have temperature checks before each performance.
● Venues must submit a safety plan that includes a seating chart showing physical distancing measures.
● A designated COVID-19 response coordinator or safety officer must make sure the safety guidelines are followed.
● Each audience member must be contacted after a performance with a request that they report COVID-19 symptoms to venues. Those symptoms must then be reported to the county’s Disease Control Office.

“Our goal throughout the pandemic has been to make the safety and health of residents be the priority in our decisions,” Dr. Travis Gayles, the county’s health officer, said in the release. “We believe these actions will help us continue our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 while helping the community move towards the reopening of our economy.”

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at briana.adhikusuma@bethesdamagazine.com.

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