Virus: Events being canceled in Dorchester

Submitted to Dorchester Banner/FDA
Concern over the spread of coronavirus have led to the cancellation of many local events.

CAMBRIDGE — As reports of the spread of coronavirus increased over the previous few days, events and gatherings locally and across the state have been canceled or postponed. On Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced measures meant to limit the spread of the disease, including closure of public schools from March 16-27, closure of senior centers, and the prohibition of gatherings of more than 250 people in close proximity.

On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency, activating the country’s resources to fight the virus.

In the meantime, local organizations are announcing their own decisions. Among them are the following:

• Eagle Festival at Blackwater Refuge on March 14 – canceled. (But Blackwater Visitor Center and Wildlife Drive and hiking trails are still open.)
• “Little Shop of Horrors,” senior class play at Cambridge South Dorchester High School March 12-15 – canceled.
• WHCP Radio’s Lez Zeppelin Spring Gala March 13 – postponed.
• The Elliott Island UMC Muskrat and Chicken Dinner, scheduled for March 21 – canceled.
• The Rotary Club Oyster Roast, March 21 – postponed.
• The Hometown Heroes event, March 25 – postponed.
• The Dorchester Visitor Center at Sailwinds Park will be closed until further notice. “This difficult decision was made in consideration of concerns for public health and safety,” a statement from the county’s Tourism Department said Friday.

• Dorchester County Public Library released a statement Friday, saying, “For the safety of our community and staff, we have made the decision to close both the Cambridge and Hurlock branches effective March 14-March 28.
All library programs and services are canceled until further notice, including Lego League, Story Time, and the Friends’ Book Sale. Groups using the Meeting Room at the Cambridge Library have been contacted to cancel or reschedule their times. All AARP Tax Assistance appointments through March 28 have also been canceled.

Patrons are encouraged to keep any materials currently checked out and return them when the library reopens. No fees will be accrued on materials during this closure.
Patron holds will also be held for an additional week once the libraries reopen. Patrons may continue to use digital library services such as Hoopla, Libby and Overdrive with their library cards.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we all learn more about this developing situation. For the most current information regarding the closure, visit our Facebook page or email us at

• Gov. Hogan said on Thursday that renewal of licenses and permits is suspended until 30 days after lifting of Maryland’s state of emergency.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

Have a question about the coronavirus? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll ask the appropriate public officials.