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The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information.

Eight-Phase Plan

The Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) has an eight-phase opening plan for its senior centers. The phases are:

March 29, 2021: Phase One—Staff return to set up at nine regional centers. Furniture moved, barriers installed and signage added. Staff from community senior centers relocated to larger regional centers until Phase Eight.

May 10: Phase Two—Public-facing volunteers attend orientations and complete registration documents. More custodial staff onsite to assist with cleaning. Virtual programming continues.

May 17: Phase Three—Center members attend orientations. Food distributions are now offered on Wednesday mornings at Ateaze, Bykota, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Essex, Liberty, Parkville, Reisterstown and Seven Oaks senior centers (by reservation only).

To Be Determined (TBD): Phase Four—Classes will begin, at first, by appointment only; no drop-in activities. Fitness centers will open by appointment only. Fitness center members will have to redo their Fitness Center Medical Clearance and Consent Form (PDF) prior to first visit. Hybrid (in-person and virtual at the same time) classes will be offered, if possible. Only programs where physical distancing can occur will be offered. Visits with other BCDA staff (Maryland Access Point, Community Outreach Services, Home Team, Ombudsman, etc.) will be by appointment only.

TBD: Phase Five—Travel will begin to locations where members are able to drive themselves.

TBD: Phase Six—Drop-in use of senior centers begins, congregate dining resumes, and more programs are added. Fitness centers open for drop-in, but maximum number of users monitored.

TBD: Phase Seven—Travel resumes on buses.

TBD: Phase Eight—Remainder of senior centers open. Programs resume at full capacity.

Nine of 20 Centers to Open Initially

Due to physical distancing and capacity restrictions, Baltimore County will begin opening nine of its largest senior centers as of Monday, May 17:

The remaining 11 senior centers will open once capacity limits are increased, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announces eased guidelines, and our state and county Departments of Health provide approval.

For Department of Aging programs and services colocated in the senior centers, please contact their offices directly. The Maryland Access Point (MAP) office is currently available via phone and email only, and can be accessed by calling 410-887-2594 or emailing aginginfo@baltimorecountymd.gov. The medical equipment Loan Closet at the Bykota Senior Center is available by appointment only and can be reached at 410-887-2594.

Schedule Your Orientation Appointment

Individuals wishing to use the senior centers when programming resumes in Phase Four must attend an in-person orientation. The hour-long appointment will include an orientation video describing changes to procedures in the centers, as well as time to complete the annual member registration forms. Once a large percentage of members have attended the orientation, programming can begin in-person. Caregivers and companions must also register to attend the orientation if coming with their care recipient.

Online

Schedule an appointment.

By Phone

Call 410-887-2040 to schedule an orientation appointment beginning Monday, May 10.

For faster service, individuals can complete and print the following forms and bring them to the orientation. We encourage all individuals to sign up so we can move to Phase Four as soon as possible. The forms are in PDF format and will open in a new window.

Senior Food Distributions

Until the Eating Together program resumes, BCDA will continue to provide a weekly bulk food program for seniors. One member per household can register online or call 410-887-2040 on Mondays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a weekly food kit. Each "kit" includes canned goods, fruits and vegetables, dairy products and a small chicken. Food distributions will occur on Wednesdays at the following centers: Ateaze, Bykota, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Essex, Liberty, Parkville, Reisterstown and Seven Oaks. Quantities are limited at each site. Learn more about the senior food distribution program.

Online

To reserve a food kit, use the online appointment system. A unique telephone number and name must be used for each account.

Schedule an appointment.

By Phone

Call 410-887-2040 on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to reserve your food kit for the following week.

New Procedures

To assure the safety and comfort of all our visitors, the following items have been added to the Rules of Participation:

  • Masks must be worn at all times while in the senior centers. Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth. Exception: Masks can be lowered while eating or drinking. Anyone refusing to wear a mask, or wearing it improperly, will not be allowed in the building.

  • A COVID-19 screening with temperature check will be conducted at the door. Only those who pass the screening will be permitted entry.

  • Proof of vaccination is not a requirement to enter, although we strongly encourage members, volunteers and staff to get vaccinated if they are able.

  • We encourage all participants to maintain a six-foot distance from others. Furniture has been placed to allow for adequate spacing and should not be moved.

  • Members must adhere to current CDC, state and county guidelines regarding COVID-19 protocols.

  • Members must maintain a six-foot distance from anyone who is not a member of their household while in the building. No physical contact among members, staff and volunteers (unless members of the same household) is permitted.

  • Members must not congregate in areas other than those specified.

  • Members are not permitted in staff offices or kitchen areas unless required as part of their volunteer position or approved by staff.

  • Members are not permitted to bring in outside food to share with others.

  • Members are required to sanitize their own personal belongings.

Cleaning Practices

To combat the spread of germs and viruses, in addition to their regular cleaning efforts, the custodial staff will be applying a disinfectant mist to high-touch points including door knobs, push plates, light switches, toilet seats, faucets, elevator buttons and hand rails. A light coating of the disinfectant mist will also be sprayed onto non-porous surfaces like chairs, tables and counters and allowed to dry. The approximate drying time is 10 minutes and does not need to be wiped clean. Staff and volunteers will be required to keep their personal work spaces clean and disinfected, and all members are encouraged to wash their hands and use the hand sanitizer provided throughout the building.

Virtual Programs

Virtual programs will continue even when in-person programs resume. Hybrid classes, which combine in-person and virtual learning at the same time, will also be pursued. According to a survey conducted in March, almost 40 percent of senior center members participated in BCDA’s virtual programs during COVID-19, and 41 percent would like to see this form of programming continue, even after senior centers reopen to in-person activities.

Online programs come in handy for caregivers, homebound individuals, those recuperating from medical issues at home, or even for individuals who travel or spend large blocks of time out of state. Contact a senior center for more information or view the monthly newsletter.

Vaccine Information

If you have not received your COVID-19 vaccine yet, but would like to before returning to the senior center, sign up on the County's Vaccine Registry or call 3-1-1.

Questions and Feedback

We welcome your questions about the phased opening of our senior centers. Please contact:

Jill P. Hall, Chief, Senior Centers and Community Services Division
Phone: 410-887-3424
Email: jphall@baltimorecountymd.gov

Explore COVID-19 Information

 

Contact Us

COVID-19 Hotline:

Residents can call with questions or concerns regarding COVID-19.

410-887-3816

Hotline Hours:

Monday through Saturday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

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