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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

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued the following statement following the announcement from Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon:

“As County Executive and a former teacher, I want nothing more than to get all our kids back to the classroom as quickly as possible—especially our youngest learners and students with disabilities and special needs. But we can only do that when we know we can keep our students and educators safe. Governor Hogan has been absent for months on calls where I and other local leaders have been asking for reopening guidelines from the state. Now, days before schools open, the Governor and Superintendent Salmon have finally released their guidance, while dangling $10 million to convince historically underfunded systems to open—whether they are ready or not. That’s not leadership. Maryland students and families deserve better.”


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.


 
 
Revised October 16, 2020               
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