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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.

New Online Tool Makes It Even Easier for County Residents to Get Tested

Starting today, Baltimore County residents can now quickly and easily reserve a slot online for free COVID-19 testing by visiting Baltimore County’s website. Appointments are currently available at both walk-up and drive-through sites for Thursday, June 4, through Tuesday, June 9, 2020. New dates will be added on Wednesdays each week.

“Improving access to testing is important to continue our gradual reopening. Allowing people to schedule tests online makes it even easier for any County resident who wants to be tested to do so quickly,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We’ll continue working to put measures in place that reduce the spread of the virus and gets Baltimore County back to work.”

“This online scheduling tool is yet another way we are making expanded testing available and convenient,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Reserving an appointment supports our ability to serve people quickly and reduce wait times for everyone—especially individuals who may not be feeling well.”

Residents do not need a doctor’s order to obtain a test, as Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch previously issued a standing order for all County residents, enabling any resident who wants to receive a COVID-19 test to do so without a doctor’s order.

Residents who make an appointment online will enter their contact information and choose a site location and appointment time. Persons may also indicate whether they will require special accommodations at the site. While reserving a time slot is recommended, all individuals visiting a County testing location will be served.

Adults must show identification upon arrival for their test. Adults accompanying a minor for testing must write down the child’s name and date of birth to present to staff upon arrival at the site.

Testing Locations

Individuals may visit any of the four County sites between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the days indicated. Site locations and days of operation are:

Liberty Family Resource Center
3525 Resource Drive, Randallstown, Maryland 21133
Walk-up clinic, open Mondays.

Dundalk Health Center
7700 Dunmanway, Dundalk, Maryland 21222
Walk-up clinic, open Mondays.

Maryland Vehicle Emissions Program (VEIP)
11510 Cronridge Drive, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
Drive-through clinic, open Wednesdays and Fridays.

Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium
2200 York Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093
Drive-through clinic, open Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Additionally, residents can check with their local pharmacies about testing availability and can call the Baltimore County COVID-19 Hotline at 410-887-3816 with other coronavirus-related questions. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more COVID-19 related information, please visit the Baltimore County Coronavirus Updates and Guidance page.


Applications for Over $350,000 in Federal Funding Available to Community-Based Organizations Open Until June 11

Baltimore County has issued a call for grant applications from County, community-based organizations that provide services related to food or shelter. The grants will be distributed as part of the federally-funded Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP).

“We know so many residents are struggling to address their families’ basic needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said County executive Johnny Olszewski. “These grants can go a long way toward supporting those organizations that are helping to serve our most vulnerable residents during these challenging times.”

The EFSP program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of food and housing insecure people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter. The program supplements and expands the ongoing work of local social service organizations to provide shelter, food and supportive services to individuals, families and households who are experiencing or at risk of hunger and homelessness

Typically, the County receives a formula set-aside from the State’s annual allocation of EFSP funds—this year’s amount being $209,176. Through the CARES Act, Congress has authorized additional funding for the program this year. As a result, Baltimore County has received $368,039 to distribute to County nonprofits.

Use of EFSP Funds

EFSP funds may be used to provide services, including:

  • Food in the form of served meals or groceries.
  • Lodging in a mass shelter, a hotel or motel, or another offsite shelter facility, limited to 30 days assistance per individual or household.
  • One month rent or mortgage assistance to prevent eviction or foreclosure, or utility assistance.
  • Transportation costs associated with food or shelter.

How to Apply

In keeping with the emergency nature of this program, the local EFSP board created a simplified funding application for organizations to apply to the Local EFSP Board.

To receive an application, email sboz@baltimorecountymd.gov. Applications are due on Thursday, June 11, at 1 p.m. The National Board will issue grants to local organizations that are recommended for funding by the Local Board.


Baltimore County Takes Next Steps to Reopen, Align with State Protocols while Promoting Public Health Measures to Minimize Spread of COVID-19 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that Baltimore County will be moving into the State of Maryland’s complete stage one.

“Having made significant progress in the availability of testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment, we are prepared to take the next steps in safely reopening our economy. As we align with phase one of Maryland’s reopening, we remind residents to continue practicing social distancing and encourage those who are high risk to stay at home,” Olszewski said. “Moving forward, we’ll continue to make decisions based on the best information available and in the best interest of our residents.” 

County Executive Olszewski will issue an executive order tomorrow stating that effective Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m., Baltimore County will take the following actions: 

Outdoor Dining

Restaurants and social organizations, including American Legions, VFWs, and Elks Clubs may begin to safely reopen for outdoor dining only. All establishments must follow strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association guidelines. 

In accordance with state protocols (PDF), restaurants must: 

  • Ensure patrons are appropriately distanced with no more than six people seated at a table, with the exception of members of the same household.
  • Ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other, except for households seated together.
  • Use single-use disposable paper menus or sanitize reusable menus between each seating.
  • Sanitize outdoor tables and chairs between each customer seating.
  • Train staff in current COVID-19 health and workplace guidelines.
  • Begin screening procedures including daily temperature checks of all staff.
  • Ensure staff wear masks or face coverings when interacting with other employees or patrons.

Baltimore County Temporarily Offering Conditional Approval for Expanded Outdoor Table Service

Restaurants already permitted for outdoor seating, may open in accordance with state guidance and restrictions. 

To help ensure other County restaurants can open as quickly as possible, Baltimore County will be temporarily offering conditional approval for establishments to provide expanded outdoor table service on their premises. 

Beginning tomorrow at 9 a.m., establishments can apply for outdoor table service at baltimorecountymd.gov/outdoortables. The County will conditionally approve all applications upon submission, until further notice. Businesses must still follow all requirements of applicable Executive Orders, and requirements and guidance issued by local, state and federal authorities. 

This temporary waiver of prior approval does not apply to the Tent Permit. For safety reasons, all tents must be approved in advance and businesses must have a valid tent permit prior to erecting tents or canopies. 

Baltimore County will continue to work with communities to identify alternative and creative models including closing of streets and expanding into parking lots and public outdoor spaces and will announce next steps in the coming days.

Drive-In Movie Theaters

Drive-in movie theaters may reopen with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Olszewski had previously called on the state of Maryland to allow Bengie’s Drive-in to reopen. 

Youth Sports

In line with the state guidance, outdoor youth sports may resume, following all appropriate CDC guidelines and state requirements (PDF).

Youth Day Camps 

Outdoor activities at youth day camps may resume in line with state requirements and guidance (PDF).

Outdoor Pools 

Outdoor pools may reopen with strict safety guidelines and in line with state requirements (PDF).

Additionally, County Executive Olszewski announced today that Baltimore County will align other requirements for retail, houses of worship, and barbershops with current state thresholds:

Retail Stores

Retail stores will be able to further reopen for in-store retail up to 50 percent capacity, including staff. This applies to all retail establishments outside of those considered essential under the state’s orders. Curbside pickup and delivery remain 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. 

Barbershops and Hair Salons

Barbershops and hair salons may further reopen with up to 50 percent capacity, including staff. They may operate by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Under state order, other personal services establishments must remain closed until further notice.

Churches and Houses of Worship 

Churches and houses of worship may hold indoor religious services with up to 50 percent capacity, including staff. Outdoor and virtual services remain strongly encouraged. Religious leaders should do everything possible to keep their congregants safe. 

Residents are Safer at Home

Residents should continue to stay home when possible. Older and more vulnerable residents, and those who live with them, are strongly advised to stay home whenever 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.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017