Wednesday, December 23, 2020

COVID -19 Update

From Carroll County Rec & Parks December 22, 2020

As a follow up to our last communication regarding best practices during this pandemic, we are now strongly advising that programs operate with no more than 10 people present at any given time.  This is change from the previously communicated recommendation of 25 people or less.


We are hopeful that by continuing to employ best practices and common sense, we will be able to continue to operate youth sports without enacting further restrictions that have been issued in neighboring counties.


From Carroll County Rec & Parks September 11, 2020

b. Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.

i. Except as provided in paragraph IV.c, all persons in Maryland over the age of five (5) years old are required to wear a Face Covering when they are:

3. outdoors and unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals who are not members of their household;

c. Exceptions. Paragraph IV.b.i does not require persons to wear Face Coverings:
i. if, due to a bona fide disability or medical condition, it would be unsafe for the person to do so;

    • Face coverings are required for all employees, parents or guardians, and participants, including children older than five years

      of age, when indoors. When outdoors, face coverings are required if unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from other non-household individuals and are advisable under all conditions. For exceptions to this requirement, please see the

      latest Executive Order
    • Caution should be used in requiring the use of face coverings outdoors during hot days or when children are engaged in vigorous activity. In these settings, face coverings can increase

      the risks of heat-related injuries, and may also not be advisable for children with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Face coverings for children aged over 5 years old are only required when they can be worn safely and consistently, with the following

      exceptions (for a full list, please see section IV.c of the Executive Order):
    • Staff and volunteers should be trained in, and understand current COVID-19 health and workplace guidelines, such as hand hygiene and cleaning protocols, along with proper PPE use and


      • • Implement a daily screening process for staff and youth athletes, which includes CDC or MDH recommended health questions, and consider temperature testing. 

      • • Direct staff and parents/guardians of youth athletes to follow CDC and state guidelines regarding home isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID infections. 

      • • Encourage staff to maintain social distancing, including during breaks, and modify procedures to avoid staff congregation.  
      • • Staff should be alert for heat-related signs and symptoms and consider additional protective measures for hot and Code Red days.

      • • Train staff on the proper responses to those who challenge social distancing, facial covering, and other protocols.

From Carroll County Rec & Parks September 02, 2020

Rec & Parks Removes Restrictions with Safety Guidelines


Westminster, MD, Wednesday, September 2, 2020 – As a result of Governor Hogan’s recent announcement that Maryland will enter Stage 3 of the Road to Recovery, and after consultation with  Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer, effective at 5 pm on Friday, September 4, 2020, Carroll County Recreation & Parks will:

·         remove restrictions that prohibited competition and full contact in high risk activities such as tackle football, wrestling and basketball

·         eliminate its current 30-mile travel limit for activities, but continues to encourage restraint with regards to program travel for leagues and tournaments

·         continue to emphasize adherence to best practices for youth sports including regular wellness checks, social distancing, and regular disinfecting of equipment


Also, state orders regarding spectators and face coverings remain in effect. This action is consistent with the Carroll County Commissioners’ adherence to following the Governor’s Executive Orders.


The department would like to recognize the efforts of all programs that already implemented their return to play safety procedures that help to reduce risk for the community as children return to play.  We would also like to recognize and thank our great volunteers who accepted these challenges, met them head on and continue to serve for the benefit of our youth.

From Carroll County Rec & Parks August 20, 2020

From Carroll County Rec & Parks August 6, 2020

As a follow up to last week's executive order from Governor Hogan, direction from the Maryland Department of Health and input from Carroll County's local health officer, I met this morning with the Board of County Commissioners to share CC Recreation & Parks' plan to address a growing number of concerns regarding COVID 19 and recreation council youth sports. This plan includes the following direction to rec council programs:

1. Face coverings should be worn by all individuals actively playing youth sports, unless likely to pose bona fide safety risk to the player (ex. Not during extreme heat)
2. Face coverings shall be worn by all coaches at all times as well as players walking to/from athletic fields and while on sidelines.
3. Face coverings shall be worn by all spectators which remain limited to family only during youth sports
4. In light of the CDC's classification of tackle football, basketball and wrestling as high risk activities, CC Recreation & Parks will not be sponsoring or permitting competition in these recreation council youth sports until further notice. Skills & drills or conditioning only versions of these activities (with no competition) will be permitted. Flag football will be allowed as an alternative to tackle football.
5. CC Recreation and Parks is actively discouraging play outside of Carroll County and restricting travel of rec council sponsored youth sports programs to a 30 mile radius from their home community (zip code)
6. All recreation council youth sports teams must provide a complete roster including team name, players, coaches and contact info to CC Recreation & Parks to support effective contact tracing efforts should they become necessary.
7. Additional actions such as spreading out game and practices schedules to result in less simultaneous usage of sites by large groups of people is highly recommended where possible.

We recognize the numerous physical and social benefits that are provided through youth sports and understand that many players and coaches will be disappointed by this news. As the same time, we also recognize that others will think there should be additional program restrictions or closures. Ultimately, we are taking the action we believe is necessary to support efforts to get through this pandemic as safely and quickly as possible.

The above direction to all rec council sports programs is effective immediately.

Face coverings should be worn by all individuals actively playing youth sports, unless likely to pose bona fide safety risk to the player (ex. Not during extreme heat)
We have a heat related policy in place, for the purpose of mask wearing you’d follow the same guidelines.

A. HEAT: Approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of the activity, temperature and heat index reading should be taken at the site or from or a comparable source. The following are recommended guidelines for coaches, program leaders and volunteers to follow with regards to Department sponsored youth activities:

Heat Index 80-89 Use caution; monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.

Heat Index 90-104 Use extreme caution; remove helmets and other equipment if not involved in contact.

Heat Index 105-129 Alter uniforms by removing items where feasible; practice time should be shortened with low intensity & limited conditioning.


Some discretion is granted to the volunteers in making this decision as programs may be occurring at sites with abundant shade, water & frequent breezes.

In all cases, once the heat index rises above 105, programs should allow for frequent cooling breaks, reduced activity levels, appropriate uniform modifications, mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes (10 minutes in duration) and ice down towels to be available to players for cooling.

B. Enforcement of this policy will be delegated to the volunteer recreation councils when staff are not present at these activities

From Carroll County Recreation & Parks - July 31, 2020

 As you are probably aware, Governor Hogan amended his executive order regard face coverings this week with an effective date of today, July 31, at 5 pm.  In short, the order now requires face coverings for all persons in Maryland over the age of five (5) years old when they are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals who are not members of their household.

Exceptions to this requirement include the following:
1.           If due to bona fide disability or medical condition, it would be unsafe for person to wear face covering
2.           Not required while swimming or engaging in other physical activities where the use of a Face Covering is likely to pose a bona fide safety risk  Per a previous communication from Maryland State Department of Health, face coverings are not recommended when outside on very hot days due to the risk of heat injury

To assist the recreation councils with interpretation of this order with regards to youth sports programs, we are providing the following guidance:

1.           Youth sports participants actively engaged in their sport are not required to wear a face covering.
2.           Youth sports participants who are not actively engaged in their sporty and are on the sidelines or bench should be wearing face coverings, especially if they are unable to consistently maintain 6' apart from other players
3.           Youth sports activities may only have parents and family members present as spectators.  We strongly recommend that spectators wear face coverings, especially if they are unable to maintain 6' apart from non-family members

We have received reports of players and spectators not practicing effective social distancing and heard concerns about the possible negative health impact on our community.  While we are all hopeful that the children will be able to enjoy some level of outdoor activity this fall, we will need responsible behavior from all involved to make that a reality.

We continue to await more information regarding fall high school sports and the use of school indoor facilities and related impacts on rec. council activities.

From Carroll County Recreation & Parks – June 12, 2020

o    All department and recreation council youth sports gatherings and events may resume sporting and other customary operations as of 5pm on June 12, 2020 for outdoor activities and 5pm on June 19, 2020 for indoor activities. Parents and family may spectate at youth sports gatherings with appropriate social distancing.
o    All department and recreation council adult amateur and recreational sports and events may resume sporting and other customary operations but may not open to spectators or the general public as of 5pm on June 12, 2020 for outdoor activities, and 5pm on June 19, 2020 for indoor activities

Click below for an updated Return to Play Guidance information page and Maryland Department of Health Directive:

Carroll County Department of Recreation & Parks and its volunteer recreation councils (and their volunteers) operate under the direction the DepartmentAs such, the department and its volunteers are agents acting on behalf of the Carroll County Commissioners when providing programs to the public and receive liability protection while serving in this role. This updated guidance and direction that was provided for the department and its recreation councils has been reviewed and approved by the local health officer, County Attorney and County Risk Manager.
We thank you for your patience as we all continue our efforts to return to play safely and responsibly.