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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.

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Keyword: county executive olszewski

Announces New Actions to Protect Public Health

To expand Baltimore County’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today declared a local state of emergency and has released additional information and guidance.

 “Our highest priority is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents. In declaring this state of emergency, I am authorizing Baltimore County government to take all necessary steps to respond to any potential impacts the virus has on our communities," Olszewski said. “This situation continues to quickly evolve and we are taking these new actions to help flatten the curve as we continue to work in partnership to limit the spread of this virus.” 

Additional Updates

County Executive Olszewski also announced additional updates regarding government operations during this public health crisis.

Baltimore County Public Library

Baltimore County Public Library will be closing from March 16 through March 29. Programs and mobile services will be cancelled through May 3. Overdue fines will not be incurred during the closure. All residents, and particularly those who have children who are out of school, are encouraged to visit for more information and to explore the library’s digital resources.

Department of Recreation and Parks

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the Department of Recreation and Parks will offer limited meal distribution to children 18 and under through the Maryland Food Bank and Healthy Food Access St Vincent de Paul of Baltimore. The Department will offer the take-away meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. There is a limited number of meals available and they will be distributed on a first come first serve basis at the following locations:

  • Dundalk PAL Center
  • Mars Estates PAL Center
  • Shady Spring PAL Center
  • Hillendale PAL Center
  • Cockeysville PAL Center
  • Soctts Branch PAL Center
  • Winfield PAL Center
  • Woodmoor PAL Center

County Executive Olszewski will make further announcements in the coming days regarding additional efforts regarding government operations following today’s declaration of a local state of emergency.

Hotline for Residents

The Baltimore County Department of Health has opened a hotline for residents to call with questions or concerns. The number is 410-887-3816. The hotline will now be operational seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All County residents are encouraged to take the proper precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including regular hand-washing and social distancing as appropriate. All residents, and particularly those at high risk, should follow CDC guidance

For up-to-date fact sheets and information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC website: For the latest information from Baltimore County, please visit:

Emergency Declaration

The full text of the emergency declaration released today is below:


WHEREAS, I, John A. Olszewski, Jr., the duly elected County Executive for Baltimore County, Maryland, have been advised by the Director of Emergency Management for Baltimore County and the local Health Officer that COVID-19, a respiratory disease that spreads easily from person to person and may result in serious illness or death, is a public health catastrophe and a public safety emergency; and

WHEREAS, a Declaration of State of Emergency and Existence of a Catastrophic Health Emergency was declared by the Governor of the State of Maryland on March 5, 2020; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the President of the United States have declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern that poses an immediate danger to public safety; and

WHEREAS, as the COVID-19 public health catastrophe and public safety emergency continues; it threatens lives, health and property in Baltimore County, requiring Baltimore County to call all of its resources into limited or long term activation; and

WHEREAS, State assistance may be needed to protect public peace, health and safety in Baltimore County as well as the lives, health and property of the citizens of Baltimore County pursuant to Title 14 of the Public Safety Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland; and

WHEREAS, Resources are requested under applicable State and local emergency plans and may consist of personnel, equipment and use of facility space, as needed for this emergency to protect the public peace and safety of the citizens of Baltimore County.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDERED AND PROCLAIMED, by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland that, in accordance with the authority granted by the Charter and Laws of Baltimore County, Maryland including, but not limited to Section 3-1-503 of the Baltimore County Code, and pursuant to any and all authority vested to me by the Maryland Constitution and the Laws of Maryland, including but not limited to §14-111 of the Public Safety Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, THAT A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND CATASTROPHIC HEALTH EMERGENCY EXISTS IN BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND, AND


  1. This Emergency Declaration shall be promptly publicized; and
  2. A copy of the Emergency Declaration be filed with the chief local records-keeping agency; and
  3. As it is likely that the state of emergency will continue beyond March 20, 2020, pursuant to the authority granted by Section 208(e) of the Baltimore County Charter, the County Council shall be called into session on or before March 20, 2020 to consider a resolution consenting to the continuation of the state of emergency, as required by §14-111 of the Public Safety Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and §3-1-503(d) of the Baltimore County Code.

Emergency Declaration
Executive Order No. 2020-002

NOW THEREFORE, Pursuant to the authority vested in me by the State law, the Baltimore County Charter, and laws of Baltimore County, I, John A. Olszewski Jr., Baltimore County Executive, hereby proclaim that a state of emergency exists in Baltimore County this thirteenth day of March in 2020.

Show Airs on Cable Channel 25 and Online

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” includes an in-depth interview with newly elected County Executive Johnny Olszewski, an overview of the County’s winter storm response plans and some background on the County’s environmental health function.

Meet Johnny O – County Executive Johnny Olszewski discusses his top priorities, and plans for open transparent government.

Winter Storm Response – Learn all about the County’s winter storm operations and how you can help.

What’s Up Doc? – Baltimore County’s top doc, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch explores environmental health issues like the cleanliness of restaurants, public pools and more.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page. In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25 in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Invites input from community, police officers and key stakeholders

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced today that the County has initiated a national search for a new Police Chief to succeed Chief Terrence B. Sheridan, and that he anticipates having a new chief in place no later than June 2019. Chief Sheridan will continue in his current role while the search is conducted, and has announced that he plans to retire in June.

“Chief Sheridan has set the bar high for his successor, and we are confident that our thorough search process will identify a chief who possesses the qualities our communities want to see in the next leader of Baltimore County’s law enforcement efforts," Olszewski said.

The County will conduct the search process, and is not contracting with any search firms or police associations for assistance. Internal and external candidates to Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD) are encouraged to apply.

Multiple Opportunities Available for Feedback from Community Stakeholders

There will be several opportunities for community members and stakeholders to provide input into the selection process. There will be two Public Safety Community Forums held in early 2019, and residents may submit written comments via email to Police officers and advocates will also have multiple opportunities to participate in the selection process.

Details of the process, including the composition of the interview panel, are included in the process summary below:

Baltimore County Police Chief Search Process


The Administration of County Executive John Olszewski is conducting a national search for a new chief to lead the Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD). The chief will succeed Chief Terrence Sheridan, who will remain in his current capacity while the search is conducted. The Olszewski Administration anticipates having a new chief in place by no later than June 2019.

The job posting is publicly available on Baltimore County’s jobs website – – and numerous other web-based job search sites. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2019.

The job posting is also available on national law enforcement organization websites, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executive Research Forum, and the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers.

The County is conducting its own search process, and is not contracting with any search firms or police associations to assist in the search. Internal and external candidates to BCoPD are encouraged to apply.

There will be several opportunities for County residents to provide input into the process. County Executive Olszewski is seeking input on what qualities and characteristics County residents would like to see in a police chief.

There are two ways for residents to provide input: 1) At two Public Safety Community Forums in early 2019, one in Northeast Baltimore County and one in Northwest Baltimore County, and 2) Through written comment submitted via email to The exact dates of the Public Safety Community Forums will be posted online in early January.

The Administration is also seeking input from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4, the Blue Guardians, the Baltimore County Association of Women Police, and rank and file police officers. County Executive Olszewski will separately meet with leadership from the various police officer associations to gather their input into the Chief selection process.

County Executive Olszewski will also conduct police officer town hall meetings to solicit input from BCoPD commanders and officers.

Olszewski Administration representatives will screen all applications and select 5 to 10 candidates to be interviewed by an 8-member interview panel. The interview panel will interview the selected candidates and advise the County Executive on the strength of each candidate. The confidentiality of all applicants will be maintained throughout the process.

The interview panel will consist of the following members:

  1. Two (2) members of the County Executive’s Senior Staff
  2. Baltimore County State’s Attorney or designee
  3. Three (3) Baltimore County resident representatives
  4. Representative of a victim services agency that serves victims in Baltimore County
  5. Representative of the Baltimore County Council

The names of the panelists will be publicly announced in January. The panel will confer with and advise the County Executive on the strength of each candidate. The County Executive will select and interview a number of finalists based on the panel’s feedback.

The nominee will be subject to a comprehensive background investigation and vetting process.


The following timeline is preliminary and subject to change.

December 2018:

  • Post Job Description; begin accepting applications.

January 2019:

  • Application period closes January 15.
  • Applications screened for candidates to be interviewed.
  • County Executive meets with police associations to solicit input.
  • Interview panel is formed and members are announced.

February 2019:

  • Public Safety Community Forums are conducted.
  • Panel interviews scheduled and completed.
  • Police officer town halls are conducted.
  • Panel meets with County Executive to provide feedback on interviewed candidates.

March 2019:

  • County Executive interviews finalists.
  • Finalist is submitted for background investigation and vetting.
  • Finalist is submitted to County Council for confirmation.
  • Confirmation process begins.

April 2019:

  • Confirmation process continues and concludes by end of month.

May 2019 – June 2019:

  • BCoPD leadership transition process begins.
  • New chief is sworn in.

Revised September 11, 2017