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Baltimore County News

Baltimore County News

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  1. Baltimore County Helping Restaurants and Bars Prepare for Expanded Outdoor Dining in Advance of State Reopening

    Proactive Guidance will Help Expedite Reopening while Minimizing Spread of COVID-19

    In anticipation of future steps by the state of Maryland to further reopen, Baltimore County today issued proactive guidance to help restaurants and bars prepare to provide expanded outdoor dining options.

    Under Governor Hogan’s statewide executive order, restaurants and bars are currently only permitted to provide carryout and delivery service. While County governments may not exceed state mandates, this effort from Baltimore County will help ensure establishments in the jurisdiction are ready to reopen more quickly.

    “We are here to work in partnership to support Baltimore County’s restaurants and bars, which add to the vibrancy of our communities and are vital to our local economy,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We don’t know exactly when the state will allow outdoor seating, but we’re taking action now to help ensure these small businesses can reopen as fast and as safely as possible.”

    Public health experts, including the CDC, have identified outdoor restaurant and bar seating—combined with social distancing and sanitary practices—as a lower risk option compared to indoor seating. This service, once permitted by the state of Maryland, would complement existing drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curbside pickup options.

    In a letter to restaurateurs, officials provided proactive updates outlining necessary steps to incorporate these public health practices into their business. Baltimore County is in the process of creating a streamlined application for establishments to request expansions in order to allow outdoor dining in areas not previously authorized, including both the use of private and public property.

    County officials are also in conversations with Chambers of Commerce about possible street closures in an effort to identify expanded outdoor dining options.

    By helping establishments expand outdoor dining options, restaurants and bars will be able to reopen more quickly.

    This is the latest effort from Baltimore County to safely reopen key portions of the local economy while maintaining public health measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

    Tue, 26 May 2020 18:15:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-helping-restaurants-and-bars-prepare-for-expanded-outdoor-dining-in-advance-of-state-reopening
  2. Testing Without Doctor’s Order Now Available at All Baltimore County Testing Sites

    Residents Should Call COVID-19 Hotline for Testing Reservation

    Baltimore County will now offer COVID-19 tests at all of its testing sites without a doctor’s order. In order to ensure efficient operations, residents will be required to call the County’s COVID-19 hotline to make an appointment.

    Previously, tests at County testing sites were only available to individuals with a doctor’s order. Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch has now issued a standing order for all County residents, enabling any resident wishing to receive a test to do so.

    Residents wishing to receive a test must call the COVID-19 hotline at 410-887-3816. They will receive instructions for scheduling an appointment. The Hotline is operating seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    “Increased access to testing is a key factor in our efforts to continue the gradual reopening of our economy, so allowing any County resident to receive a test, regardless of whether they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, is another important step forward,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We continue working around the clock to put measures in place that to reduce the spread of the virus and help get Baltimore County back to work.”

    “The standing order makes community-based testing extremely convenient for residents,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer. “Additionally, scheduling a testing reservation will help ensure a more efficient process for everyone.”

    Testing Locations

    Baltimore County will continue to offer testing at the following locations:

    Residents are reminded that they should continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    They should stay home whenever possible, and if they must go out, they should wear a mask in public places and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

    Fri, 22 May 2020 18:15:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/testing-without-doctor-s-order-now-available-at-all-baltimore-county-testing-sites
  3. No Trash, Recycling or Yard Materials Collection on Memorial Day; Drop-Off Centers Closed

    Collections May Occur Later than Usual During the Week Following Memorial Day

    Baltimore County government trash, recycling or yard materials collection will be adjusted on Monday, May 25, 2020 in recognition of the Memorial Day holiday. 

    Residents should consult their particular collection schedule to learn when to set out materials during weeks that contain a collection holiday. Schedules are available for download on the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s website and may also be requested by calling 410-887-2000.

    Schedules are also available on the County’s BaltCoGo mobile app, which is offered free of charge to Android and iPhone users.

    Collections of all types may occur later than usual during the week following Memorial Day. 

    If a collection does not occur on the scheduled day during this period of time, materials should be left out until collection occurs.

    Drop-Off Centers

    Trash and recycling drop-off centers will be closed on Monday, May 25. Drop-off centers will be open with normal hours on Friday, May 22, and Saturday, May 23. 

    Drop-off facilities (and the trash and recycling customer service line) will reopen on Tuesday, May 26.

    More Information

    For more information, residents should visit the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s website or call 410-887-2000.

    Fri, 22 May 2020 16:45:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/no-trash-recycling-or-yard-materials-collection-on-memorial-day-drop-off-centers-closed
  4. Olszewski Announces New Reopening Steps While Maintaining Public Health Measures to Minimize Spread of COVID-19

    Following Progress in Major Indicators, Baltimore County Continues Efforts to Reopen Businesses

    Following progress in major indicators including expanded testing and increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for nursing homes, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced new actions to reopen key portions of Baltimore County’s economy while maintaining public health measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

    “With significant progress in expanding testing and PPE, I’m confident that Baltimore County is ready to take these next steps, and do so in a safe manner that protects the health of our residents,” Olszewski said. “While these steps are important, we’re not out of the woods yet, and I urge all residents to continue practicing social distancing to limit the spread of this virus.”

    New Actions Effective Friday, May 22

    County Executive Olszewski will issue an executive order stating that effective Friday, May 22, at 9 a.m., Baltimore County will take the following actions:

    • Retail stores may reopen for in-store retail with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. This applies to all retail establishments outside of those considered essential under the state’s previous orders. Curbside pickup and delivery is strongly encouraged, and all public health precautions should remain in place. Shopping malls must continue to stay closed except for retail establishments that can be accessed from the outside.

    • Barber shops and hair salons may reopen with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. They may operate by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Other personal services establishments must remain closed until further notice.

    Clarification on Religious Institution Restrictions

    County Executive Olszewski also clarified that the restrictions that were in place on all religious institutions in the state prior to last week remain in place in Baltimore County. That means that the restriction on gatherings of more than 10 remain in place, either indoors or outdoors. Religious institutions may hold drive-through or drive-in services, as some have done.

    Residents Encouraged to Continue to Stay at Home

    Baltimore County’s prohibition on indoor and outdoor gatherings or events of 10 or more people at all locations and venues remains in place.

    Residents and visitors to Baltimore County should strive to stay at home unless they are traveling to work or medical appointments, shopping for groceries or other retail goods, or traveling to outdoor recreational opportunities. Older and more vulnerable residents are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible.

    Residents and visitors should practice safe physical distancing and wear masks in public, and frequently wash their hands and sanitize high-touch areas.

    Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees when possible. Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so.

    Thu, 21 May 2020 13:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-announces-new-reopening-steps-while-maintaining-public-health-measures-to-minimize-spread-of-covid-19
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