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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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Updates for June 12 and June 19

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that Baltimore County will adopt Maryland’s additional Stage Two actions.

Beginning Friday, June 12, at 5 p.m., Baltimore County will adopt the following: 

  • Indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, with social distancing and following strict public health requirements
  • Outdoor amusements and attractions, miniature golf and go-karts
  • Outdoor pools capacity increasing to 50 percent

Beginning next Friday, June 19, at 5 p.m.: 

  • Gyms, indoor fitness centers, dance studios, martial arts at 50 percent with social distancing and following strict public health requirements
  • Casinos, arcades and malls

The full text of Governor Hogan’s updated Executive Order is available online.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued the following statement:

“To date, we have taken measured steps to gradually and safely reopen our economy. As we’ve done so, we have also experienced sustained progress in key indicators, including our positivity rate—now the lowest among Maryland’s large counties. We remain hopeful that we can remain on this path to recovery as we continue to monitor key metrics in the days and weeks ahead.

As we follow Maryland in these reopening steps, it is critical to remember that this disease is still very much with us. Without a cure or vaccine, more people will get sick, and more families will lose loved ones. 

We must remain vigilant and prepare for the potential of a second spike of infections. Every resident and every business should remain cautious. Older residents and those with chronic health conditions, who remain at the highest risk, should take every precaution to protect themselves.

We all play a part in ensuring the health and safety of our neighbors. Please look after one another, Baltimore County, as we continue to get through this together."


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.


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.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017