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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

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Keyword: baltimore city

Next Steps will be Determined in the Next 24 Hours

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young today issued the following statement following Governor Larry Hogan's announcement:

"Our top priority is to protect the health and well-being of our people. As Governor Hogan has acknowledged, there is not a statewide, one-size fits all approach to achieving that goal, and just four jurisdictions have 72 percent of the state’s COVID-19 cases. Baltimore City and Baltimore County are two of those jurisdictions. A flexible, community-based approach is necessary to empower individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding timing of Phase One re-openings.

For the Baltimore region to safely move into all of Phase One, we need more access to personal protective equipment, as well as increased testing capacity and more robust contact tracing. We’ve seen some progress in each of these areas, but we have to do even more.

We are taking a close look at the specific actions announced today, and we will determine our next steps in the next 24 hours. We acknowledge that this will not be welcome news to all of our residents. Individuals and businesses continue to make real sacrifices, and those sacrifices are preventing the spread of a deadly virus. However, rushing to reopen in our large, densely populated jurisdictions jeopardizes the lives of our neighbors and loved ones.

As we work towards re-opening as soon and as safely as we can, we continue to urge residents to stay at home, wear a mask in public spaces and to remain socially-distanced if they go out. We will continue to be there for each other, and we will get through this together."


Baltimore County is Working to Minimize Impact

As our neighbors in Baltimore City work to address the ransomware attack on the City’s computer systems, we wanted to share some information about implications for Baltimore County. 

Please note that Baltimore County has not experienced a ransomware attack on our systems. However, there are a few ways in which County residents may be impacted by the City’s attack. County officials are working to minimize those impacts. 

Property Transfers 

Baltimore County will not hold up any deed transfers for water bills. The Baltimore County’s Lien Certificate only lists the phone number for the City’s Water Department—the County’s normal process does not verify whether the water account is up to date. That function is completed by the Title Company.

The water bill issue will only affect the transfer of a property if at the settlement table the buyer does not want to proceed without information about the final water bill. This would be between the buyer and seller. The title company would have the ability to establish an escrow amount for the water charge until the actual amount can be determined. 

Water Billing

While the City’s ability to deliver water to residents and businesses is not affected by the attack, the water billing system is down. The City’s Department of Public Works has created an email address, DPW.Billing.Baltimorecity@gmail.com, as a temporary point of contact for customers to send them communication. 

Sewer Billing

The County Department of Public Works Metro District Billing Office uses City water information and systems to assist with customer service inquiries. Until City computer systems are fully restored, the process of responding to billing inquiries may be slowed. 

Security of the County’s Systems

Baltimore County Government is committed to protecting citizen data and maintaining availability of citizen services. While no security controls can guarantee complete protection, Baltimore County has invested in technologies over many years to strengthen the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our systems to weather unforeseen events. We have implemented a more rigorous vulnerability assessment program to help us identify vulnerabilities and paired it with a more robust patch management program allowing a faster response once vulnerabilities are identified. We have tools in place to identify threats at the perimeter of our network, which we will continue to monitor and expand.

In addition, we have implemented tools to identify and remove threats from phishing emails prior to them entering our environment. Every County employee receives regular training on how to identify malware and other basic cybersecurity methods. As we became aware of new threats like those in our neighboring jurisdictions being targeted, we began to add warning notices to every email message received from outside of our network so employees could better identify phishing messages and potential malware.


Says We Must Work Together on Complex Issues for the Good of the Region

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler released the following statement in response to efforts to limit bus and light rail service between Baltimore City and Baltimore County:

"I will inform the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) that I do not support any effort to limit bus and light rail service from Baltimore City to the County. While I understand the frustration that was caused by a recent disruption at White Marsh Mall, stigmatizing and creating hardship for City residents is not an acceptable response. It is 2018. Not 1950. We are neighbors with Baltimore City and stand with them. We cannot and should not put a moat around our City partners. We must continue to work together on complex issues for the good of the Baltimore region."
 


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017