We don’t want to say it.
You don’t want to hear it.
We definitely don’t want it to change your market plans on Kentucky Derby day.
But after hours of reading executive orders, amended directives, CDC guidelines, proclamations, instructions, guidelines, and, yes, even Maryland Code, what it boils down to is that we can’t change our operations yet.
Are we an Outdoor Venue? You’d think so, right? But we don’t fit into that definition, and even if we did, masks would be required. (The full text is here.)
Are we a retail establishment? Yes. But the Governor’s latest orders don’t cover outdoor retail establishments, and the Secretary of Health’s Amended Directive still prescribes social distancing, sanitization, and, yes, face coverings, at retail establishments. (That text is here.)
“But in that article the CDC said we don’t have to wear masks outdoors!” We were super excited to see that headline, too, but the CDC did not say that. They even made it clearer here.
In any case, all of our vendors would have to keep wearing face coverings, since that’s specified in the Governor’s latest orders, too: “…all persons in Maryland over the age of five (5) years old are required to wear a Face Covering when they are…engaged in work in any area where…interaction with others is likely…”
So let’s get back to our original statement: We’re so sorry. It’s still masks and social distancing at the La Plata Farmers Market. If it’s any consolation, farmers markets all over Maryland and the rest of the country are having this same discussion, and they’re not thrilled with the continued requirements for masks and social distancing, either. But if that’s the cost of staying open, we’re all doing it.
And for those of you who are waiting until the mask mandate is rescinded before you’ll come to visit us: we’re sorry that your visit will be further delayed, and we hope you’re finding other ways to support local small businesses.