Skip Global navigation and goto content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

Skip MegaMenu and goto content

Department of Health in Marion County offers guidance on mass gatherings

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

March 12, 2020


OCALA, Fla.—To help protect the health of those most vulnerable to the threat of COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health in Marion County is strongly urging attendees of large community events and mass gatherings to not attend if they:

  • Are a contact to a known or suspected case of COVID-19
  • Are over the age of 65 and have underlying health conditions
  • Are immune-compromised
  • Are ill
  • Have been exposed to someone with a respiratory illness in the last 14 days
  • Have chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease
  • Have traveled internationally within the last 14 days, especially to destinations under a Level 3 travel advisory (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea)
  • Have traveled to or from a geographic area with widespread community transmission of COVID-19

“We are providing these recommendations based on CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “We all have a role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. This includes modifying our personal behaviors in the interest of protecting the health of the community.” 

While large-scale gatherings of more than 1,000 people are discouraged, event planners may choose to proceed based on the lack of community transmission or other relevant information. These events should incorporate a screening tool to assist with the assessment of attendees to determine recent travel history, potential/past exposure to COVID-19 and current health status.

Additionally, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

For more information on mass gatherings, please visit