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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: department of health

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.


Testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays Starting April 16

In an effort to keep pace with the demand for COVID-19 testing, the Baltimore County Department of Health will open a drive-through clinic to test patients who have a medical order from a healthcare provider.

The clinic will be located at the Maryland State Fairgrounds (2200 York Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093) and will open on Thursday, April 16. Testing will continue to occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays while test kits are available.

“Our response to this pandemic must include every effort possible to help reduce the spread of the virus and save lives, and testing is a critical component of those efforts,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Increasing testing capacity in Baltimore County is part of our comprehensive effort to keep our residents safe and healthy during this crisis.”

“In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life, as we know it,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Providing a testing clinic at this location will allow for both efficiency and safety, and is another example of Baltimore County working to meet the changing landscape brought about by this pandemic.”

Increased access to testing is a priority in helping to prevent the spread of the virus. The fairgrounds are easily accessible and able to accommodate multiple lanes of vehicles at once. Additionally, patients will not have to leave their vehicles during the testing process.

Schedule an Appointment

Patients must first get authorization from a healthcare provider to be tested.

Once authorization is obtained, the person to be tested must schedule an appointment using the state-designated Chesapeake Regional Information System (CRISP). Tested individuals will receive post-test instructions at the clinic and test results will be available within five to seven days.

People arriving at the site without an order from a healthcare provider and/or without a pre-scheduled appointment will not be tested.

COVID-19 Hotline

Residents with questions or who need assistance can call the Baltimore County COVID-19 Hotline seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 410-887-3816.


Mobile Crisis Team Will be Available 24/7

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler announced plans to significantly expand the County’s emergency mental health system by funding overnight hours for the Mobile Crisis Team that responds to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, including those addicted to opioids.

The Baltimore County Crisis Response System, a collaborative effort between the County’s Health and Police Departments, works with The Affiliated Sante’ Group, Inc. to provide emergency mental health services to Baltimore County residents. The Mobile Crisis Team is currently available from 9:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. daily. The increased funding of $561,000, contingent on County Council approval, will bring the Mobile Crisis Team budget to $2.6 million and will help expand their services to 24 hours per day.

“Our Mobile Crisis Team provides a vital service to people in their most vulnerable moments; by pairing a mental health clinician with a police officer, they are able to respond in a way that deescalates situations, protecting both the individual and overall public safety,” Mohler said. “If approved by the Council, we will ensure that County residents who need these services throughout the night will now have access to them.”

“The increase in funding will mean an expansion in service hours, and having these services available around the clock is priceless,” said Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch.

The Mobile Crisis Team responds to severe behavioral health emergencies in the community, with the goals of diverting residents from unnecessary hospitalizations and/or entry into the criminal justice system, and reducing the number of emergency petitions. The team provided 2,343 interventions to County residents and their families in fiscal year 2018.

“This funding will allow constant coverage throughout the County to provide a resource to patrol officers dealing with those suffering from mental health issues,” said Chief of Police Terrence Sheridan. “Hopefully, this will continue our trend of peacefully resolving incidents involving individuals in crisis.”

“The Mobile Crisis Team has been a tremendous asset to the community and I support the expansion of their availability into the overnight hours, when many incidents take place,” said County Council Chair Julian Jones.

“Mental health crises don’t start in the morning and end at night,” concluded Mohler. “We have to take care of those in need.”

Facilitating Access to Mental Health Care

Another strength of the Mobile Crisis Team is that they help people take full advantage of the dynamic matrix of services in place to link County residents to preventative care options.

For more information on mental health services offered in Baltimore County, call the Baltimore County Department of Health at 410-887-3828. To access emergency mental health services, call the 24-hour Mobile Crisis Team hotline at 410-931-2214.   


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017