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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: pandemic

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.


247 Confirmed COVID-19 Deaths in the County

A 15-year-old Baltimore County resident has died after being infected by COVID-19, the first pediatric death in the County associated with the virus. The individual had symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations.

“Any loss of life from this virus is tragic, but the loss of a child is devastating. Our prayers are with the family and loved ones of this young person,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “This is a stark reminder that this virus spares no one, and that we all must remain vigilant in our efforts to stay home, socially distance, and limit the spread of this deadly disease.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is real, it is here, and it is lethal,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer. “Our children and our most vulnerable residents need all of us to do our part to safeguard them from this unrelenting adversary.”

As of May 19, 2020, the number of Baltimore County residents confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus is 4,920. The number of confirmed deaths from the virus is 247 with an additional 16 deaths believed to be virus-related.

County residents are strongly encouraged to stay home whenever possible. If they must go out, individuals should wear masks or face coverings in public places and continue to maintain six feet of distance from other people.

More information about the County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is available at www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/Coronavirus.


Food Insecurity Growing Risk for Seniors During COVID-19 Pandemic

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that, beginning next week, the Baltimore County Department of Aging will be expanding its food distribution efforts by providing boxes of food to the County’s older adults. The program will be supported by $590,000 in funding provided through the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to specifically target individuals age 60 and older.

“We’re taking another important step to ensure older adults in Baltimore County will not go hungry through this crisis,” Olszewski said. “Promoting food security is a top priority of my administration and we will continue to use all resources available to us to support our residents.”

“We’re pleased to be able to provide this new support for older adults in the County who may have difficultly preparing nutritionally-balanced meals during this uncertain time,” said Laura D. Riley, Director of the Department of Aging. “Before this pandemic, over 600 senior citizens relied on our Eating Together programs each day for nutritionally-balanced meals and we hope that this newly expanded meal distribution will help those in most need.”

Under this new program, each box of food will include three meals and a snack for six days.

“When combined according to the directions, each meal meets the nutritional requirements for adults age 60 and older,” said Jill Hall, Chief of the Division of Senior Centers and Community Services.

Boxes will be distributed by appointment only at three senior center locations in three different regions of the County:

Baltimore County residents over 60 years of age should call 410-887-2040 to schedule their pick-up date, time and location. Only individuals with appointments will receive a box of food. During the appointment, individuals will be asked to show proof of age through their BCDA Senior Center Membership Card or other identification.

Anyone unable to travel to these locations should contact Maryland Access Point (MAP) at 410-887-2594 to discuss other food options with the MAP staff.

The Department of Aging plans to continue to provide meals through the end of June, or until the senior centers reopen to the public, whichever comes first.

This is the latest effort from Baltimore County to combat food insecurity among older adults.

Since March 16, the Department of Aging has served over 8,300 meals for seniors—a 33 percent increase in the number of participants since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, through a partnership with Meals on Wheels, a home delivered meal service, Baltimore County is helping provide shelf stable meals or grocery box deliveries for nearly 200 senior citizens in urgent need of food. Department of Aging staff are also assisting with Baltimore County’s Saturday food distribution sites at the Hereford and Reisterstown Senior Centers.

Additional Food Resources

For younger residents, Baltimore County continues to offer other resources for grocery and produce. Find more information.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017