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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: reopen

Proactive Guidance will Help Expedite Reopening while Minimizing Spread of COVID-19

In anticipation of future steps by the state of Maryland to further reopen, Baltimore County today issued proactive guidance to help restaurants and bars prepare to provide expanded outdoor dining options.

Under Governor Hogan’s statewide executive order, restaurants and bars are currently only permitted to provide carryout and delivery service. While County governments may not exceed state mandates, this effort from Baltimore County will help ensure establishments in the jurisdiction are ready to reopen more quickly.

“We are here to work in partnership to support Baltimore County’s restaurants and bars, which add to the vibrancy of our communities and are vital to our local economy,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We don’t know exactly when the state will allow outdoor seating, but we’re taking action now to help ensure these small businesses can reopen as fast and as safely as possible.”

Public health experts, including the CDC, have identified outdoor restaurant and bar seating—combined with social distancing and sanitary practices—as a lower risk option compared to indoor seating. This service, once permitted by the state of Maryland, would complement existing drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curbside pickup options.

In a letter to restaurateurs, officials provided proactive updates outlining necessary steps to incorporate these public health practices into their business. Baltimore County is in the process of creating a streamlined application for establishments to request expansions in order to allow outdoor dining in areas not previously authorized, including both the use of private and public property.

County officials are also in conversations with Chambers of Commerce about possible street closures in an effort to identify expanded outdoor dining options.

By helping establishments expand outdoor dining options, restaurants and bars will be able to reopen more quickly.

This is the latest effort from Baltimore County to safely reopen key portions of the local economy while maintaining public health measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.


Following Progress in Major Indicators, Baltimore County Continues Efforts to Reopen Businesses

Following progress in major indicators including expanded testing and increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for nursing homes, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced new actions to reopen key portions of Baltimore County’s economy while maintaining public health measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“With significant progress in expanding testing and PPE, I’m confident that Baltimore County is ready to take these next steps, and do so in a safe manner that protects the health of our residents,” Olszewski said. “While these steps are important, we’re not out of the woods yet, and I urge all residents to continue practicing social distancing to limit the spread of this virus.”

New Actions Effective Friday, May 22

County Executive Olszewski will issue an executive order stating that effective Friday, May 22, at 9 a.m., Baltimore County will take the following actions:

  • Retail stores may reopen for in-store retail with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. This applies to all retail establishments outside of those considered essential under the state’s previous orders. Curbside pickup and delivery is 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.

  • Barber shops and hair salons may reopen with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. They may operate by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Other personal services establishments must remain closed until further notice.

Clarification on Religious Institution Restrictions

County Executive Olszewski also clarified that the restrictions that were in place on all religious institutions in the state prior to last week remain in place in Baltimore County. That means that the restriction on gatherings of more than 10 remain in place, either indoors or outdoors. Religious institutions may hold drive-through or drive-in services, as some have done.

Residents Encouraged to Continue to Stay at Home

Baltimore County’s prohibition on indoor and outdoor gatherings or events of 10 or more people at all locations and venues remains in place.

Residents and visitors to Baltimore County should strive to stay at home unless they are traveling to work or medical appointments, shopping for groceries or other retail goods, or traveling to outdoor recreational opportunities. Older and more vulnerable residents are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as 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.


Social Distancing Measures Remain in Place

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that yard waste collection will resume and residential Drop-Off Centers will reopen.

“We know these services are important to our residents, and we feel confident that we can safely resume them with appropriate social distancing measures in place,” Olszewski said. “I’m grateful to our trash haulers for their service, and I’m grateful to our residents for their patience and cooperation as we continue to navigate this unprecedented crisis.”

Residential Drop-off Centers

Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, April 23, Baltimore County’s residential Drop-off Centers will reopen to the public. These locations include: 

  • Eastern Sanitary Landfill—6259 Days Cove Road, 21162
  • Central Acceptance Facility—201 West Warren Road, 21030
  • Western Acceptance Facility—3310 Transway Road, 21227

Residents will be required to adhere to all social distancing guidelines and required to wear masks onsite. These requirements will be strictly enforced.

Yard Waste Collection

Additionally, beginning today, Wednesday, April 22, yard waste materials will be collected from Baltimore County residents with “Y” days on their schedule. These separate yard material collections will occur through as late as December 2020.

Collection schedules are available for download on the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s website and may also be requested by calling 410-887-2000. Schedules are also available on the County’s BaltCoGo app, for use on mobile phones.

The amount of garbage being collected from residents has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, during the week ending April 18, trash haulers collected nearly 23 percent more tons of trash than the same week in 2019. County Executive Olszewski approved hazard pay of $75 dollars per week for workers collecting trash in the County during the pandemic.

Requirements for Collection

While residents may set out an unlimited number of bags of yard materials, the collector may not collect all of the bags on the same day. Collectors must make trash collection their first priority, and must take into account all of the residents on their route. Residents are asked to leave their yard materials out until collection occurs.

Yard materials acceptable for collection include grass, leaves, vines, twigs, shrubbery trimmings, and branches and limbs. 

Residents are reminded to use lawn and leaf bags to set out their yard materials, not trash cans. Bags of yard materials set out for collection must not exceed 30 pounds. Also, branches and limbs will be collected only if they are no larger than three inches in diameter, no longer than three feet, and tied in bundles not exceeding 30 pounds.

Benefits of Grasscycling and Composting

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Baltimore County Department of Public Works officials also reminded residents that they are encouraged to try “grasscycling” or home composting in addition to placing yard waste for pick-up.

These practices not only reduce the amount of yard materials to be bagged and stored, but also provide benefits such as protection and nutrients to plants and lawns.

To grasscycle while mowing your lawn, remove the bag from your mower and let the grass clippings fall back onto the ground. To protect the health of your lawn, never cut more than one-third of the length off of the grass blade in one mowing.

Keep the grass mowed to two inches in the spring, gradually increasing the height to three to four inches by summer. When fall arrives, decrease the blade height back to two inches.

The practice of grasscycling eliminates the time and labor required to bag lawn clippings. In addition, when grass clippings are properly cut, they decompose quickly and release vital nutrients back into the soil.

Another beneficial use for yard materials is home composting. Composting—creating a mixture of decomposed organic matter—is an easy way to produce a nutrient-rich soil additive. Using compost in your garden also helps to suppress plant diseases and pests and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.

For more information about grasscycling, home composting and other ways to manage organic material at home, visit the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s website.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017