BETHESDA, Md. — A memorial was cut short Wednesday after Capital Park police officers broke up a large group to enforce Maryland's ban on gatherings of more than 10 people to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Units were dispatched to a park in Bethesda around 9 p.m. on Wednesday for reports of a large gathering where they found 75-100 people gathering.
Police said the 17-20 year olds were holding a memorial for a friend that recently passed away.
Park Police expressed their condolences in a tweet saying they are "sorry for the loss and understand the need to grieve," but all Montgomery County parks close at dark and they have to enforce the executive order instituted by Governor Larry Hogan banning gatherings of more than 10 people to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Gov. Hogan announced the ban of large gatherings along with several others on March 19th to slow the spread of coronavirus in Maryland.
At the time of the ban, Maryland had 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The new actions listed were enclosed shopping malls and entertainment venues will close at 5 p.m., gatherings of more than 10 people should be canceled or rescheduled and access to the terminal at BWI Airport is strictly limited.
Maryland currently has 580 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Four people have died as a result of the virus.