OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Getting ready for this Labor Day Weekend? There are concerns your family get-togethers could lead to a spike in the coronavirus.

“Large crowds are extremely dangerous, period,” Dr. Gregory Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer, said.

Dr. Branch is among the 110,000 people in the state who contracted COVID-19.

Ahead of the Labor Day Weekend, he’s ringing the alarm.


Both local and federal health officials don’t want to see a repeat of certain scenes, like a massive pool party on Memorial Day Weekend in the Lake of the Ozarks.

“I think everybody has to remember, even if you are in a smaller group of people, even if it’s extended family, you still have to wash your hands, wear your mask and watch your distance,” Dr. Branch said.

“We are probably going to have a lot of people in Ocean City,” Rick Meehan, Mayor of Ocean City, Maryland, said.

Ocean City’s boardwalk was also packed Memorial Day Weekend. The beach town’s mayor is kindly asking visitors to follow the rules ahead of Labor Day Weekend.

“We just ask that they continue to follow our restrictions,” Meehan said. “We have a mask mandate on the boardwalk between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. and we hope that people will assist us and cooperate doing that.”

On Friday, Maryland will move into Phase 3 of the reopening process. Movie theaters and live entertainment can resume with some limitations. Retailers and houses of worship can increase the number of people allowed inside.

Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City, however, will delay moving into Phase 3.

“I’m ready, I’m excited,” Derek Burkholder, of Baltimore County, said. “I think a lot of people taking the necessary safety precautions are ready for things to get back to normal.”

Some people who spoke with WJZ said they welcome Phase 3. Others think the governor is moving too slow.

“It’s not making any difference,” Joe Cox, of Baltimore County, said. “All it’s doing is ruining businesses.”

Even though Maryland moves into Pahses 3 on Friday, local jurisdictions can make their own rules.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Ava-joye Burnett


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