Friday, March 20, 2020

Questions and Answers Regarding Large Social Gatherings

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous inquiries about Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s order regarding gatherings of more than 10 people. The St. Mary's County Sheriff’s Office has listed some frequently asked questions and responses in this unprecedented situation. The Sheriff’s Office requests your compliance with the governor’s order and your patience as we work through this difficult situation.

Please be patient as the Sheriff's Office works through the pandemic as a community to protect each other. 

As further guidance, changes or questions become available our office will share it with the community so that you are informed.

Question #1
I would like 11 friends to come to my house for a BBQ. Would this be legal?

According to guidance from the Maryland Attorney General, Gov. Hogan’s executive order DOES apply to social gatherings at a private residence. A citizen holding a social gathering of more than 10 people could be criminally charged with violating the order.

Question #2
Are St. Mary’s County parks closed?

No, St. Mary’s County parks are not closed, however many facilities are. Organized activities have been canceled and gatherings of more than 10 people would violate the governor’s order. For example, a game of touch football or a basketball game involving more than 10 people would violate the law. Hiking in the park with your spouse, or fishing in a park with your child would not be a violation of the law at this time. For additional information please check the St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks website at:

The St. Mary’s County Health Department and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the best resources to learn what you can do to stay healthy and safe.
St. Mary’s County Health Department:
St. Mary’s County Health Department “Social Distancing”:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Gov. Hogan’s Order: