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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: coronavirus

Baltimore County Requires Face Coverings in Indoor Spaces, Calls on Governor Hogan to Revisit Indoor Dining and Bars Statewide

As jurisdictions in Maryland and across the country see increasing COVID-19 cases, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced today that Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch has issued a new public health order requiring all individuals ages 2 and over to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces, and also strongly encouraging residents to wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces wherever six-foot social distancing is not possible.

This new public health advisory supplements existing state orders (PDF), which currently require residents to wear masks in some indoor locations.

“The advice of scientific experts is clear: face coverings work. This commonsense step will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I want to thank our neighbors and businesses who continue to take the necessary steps to keep our loved ones safe. We must all do our part, or we risk jeopardizing the progress we’ve made together.”

Despite current prevention measures, Baltimore County is experiencing the highest seven-day average of 97 community cases per day—exceeding the previous peak of 94 cases per day over a seven-day period in May. Meanwhile, Baltimore County’s positivity rate has increased since July 7 to 5.92 percent, demonstrating continued community transmission of COVID-19. On Sunday, Maryland saw the largest number of cases reported in a single day in nearly two months.

CDC guidance has demonstrated the effectiveness of face coverings in preventing transmission of COVID-19 by symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The suppression of COVID-19 will be critical in supporting future school reopening, continuing Baltimore County’s economic recovery, and safeguarding public safety.

“Our fight against this virus is not over. Without a vaccine or a cure we must continue to follow the science and the evidence which shows that face coverings—paired with social distancing and avoiding large gatherings—can slow the spread of this disease,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Our data is beginning to show initial troubling signs. To keep us from losing ground, we must act now.”

Face Covering Requirements

Beginning Thursday, July 23 at 9 a.m., Baltimore County residents ages 2 and up will be required to wear face coverings in any indoor business, service, organization, or establishment that serves the general public. This includes, but is not limited to, retail establishments, recreational establishments, houses of worship, and other locations open to the public.

Residents are strongly encouraged to wear masks in outdoor public areas where social distancing of at least six-feet is not possible.

Individuals will not be required to wear a mask if:

  • Eating or drinking while seated at food service establishments. In accordance with Governor Hogan’s orders, face coverings are still required when otherwise moving in or about a restaurant or bar premises.
  • A face covering cannot be worn due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability.

County to Swiftly Act to Protect Health

Additionally, under the order issued today, the Baltimore County Health Officer may also issue a warning, modify operations, or immediately shut down any business or place of assembly that presents an immediate threat to public health or demonstrates unreasonable risk of exacerbating the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve focused on education before enforcement with our business community, because we understand how hard they have been hit by this pandemic. While the vast majority are doing their part, we will do whatever is necessary to protect the health and safety of our people,” Olszewski added.

Olszewski Calls on Hogan to Reconsider Indoor Dining

Following nationwide COVID-19 spikes, over a dozen other states or localities have taken steps to re-close bars and restaurants. County officials noted that, similar to statewide trends, young people now account for the majority of cases. Over the past three days, 53 percent of Baltimore County cases are residents under the age of 35.

County Executive Olszewski today called on Governor Hogan to limit bars and food service establishments to outdoor dining and takeout or delivery service.

“Maryland’s increasing case numbers are troubling and public health officials have consistently warned us about how indoor dining and congregating in bars can play a significant role of increased COVID-19 case counts. We have also seen that patchwork approaches to determining which businesses should be opened don’t work. I urge Governor Hogan to reengage with local leaders so that we can work in partnership to take statewide action to protect public health and save lives.”


Additional $1 Million in Phase One Funding and $2 Million in Phase Two Funding will Assist More Families at Risk of Losing Housing as a Result of Pandemic

After significant response from residents applying for assistance from Phase One of Baltimore County’s Eviction Prevention Program, County Executive Johnny Olszewski has allocated an additional $1 million to support residents who are struggling to pay their rent and other housing-related expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new funding will supplement the County’s previous $1 million allocation to assist households at risk of losing their current housing when the state moratorium on evictions is lifted.

In addition, the County has allocated an additional $2 million in Community Development Block Grant–Corona Virus (CDBG-CV) funds for Phase Two of its eviction prevention efforts. The County in June issued an RFP to enter into grant agreements with eligible community-based organizations to address homelessness and expand eviction prevention efforts through subsistence payments and security deposits.

Phase Two will enable partnering organizations to tackle the issue of eviction prevention in a more comprehensive manner and will focus on the County residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Families across Baltimore County are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, and it’s critical that we help as many of those families as we can. These additional funds will help more families avoid homelessness and provide a bridge while they get back on their feet,” Olszewski said. “We will continue to identify ways to provide resources that help our families weather this storm.”

Applications for Phase One of the Eviction Prevention Program have closed. The additional funding will enable the County to provide support to more of the families who have already applied prior to the announced deadline. The County expects that at least 800 households will receive assistance.

The original $1 million for this phase of the Eviction Prevention Program came from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Emergency Assistance to Families with Children through the Department of Social Services. The additional funds will come from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds.

In addition to financial support for residents, the County has partnered with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition's Fair Housing Action Center (FHAC) to provide the following services:

  • Financial coaching and counseling, including assistance negotiating with landlords
  • Referral to supportive services, including legal assistance
  • Renters’ tax credit applications and assistance

The eviction prevention initiative is the latest effort by Baltimore County to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the pandemic. Baltimore County government and Baltimore County Public Schools have provided more than three million meals for County residents. Information about food resources is available at www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/FoodHelp.

For more information about these initiatives and other efforts to respond to the pandemic, visit www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/Coronavirus.


New Clinic Opens on Monday, June 22

In an effort to further expand access to COVID-19 testing, Baltimore County is opening a new walk-up clinic at the Baltimore Highlands Lansdowne Health Center at 3902 Annapolis Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21227.

Beginning on June 22, the new site will operate on Mondays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Our fight against COVID-19 is not over. To stop the spread of this deadly virus, we must continue to make access to free, convenient testing as easy as possible for residents across Baltimore County,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “As we take gradual steps to safely reopen, expanded testing at sites like this one will be critical in protecting the health and safety of our neighbors and loved ones.”

“With the addition of this new walk-up testing clinic in the Lansdowne area, we are now providing testing at five locations across the County,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Multiple testing locations is key in helping identify—and contain—the transmission of this virus.”

Schedule an Appointment Online

Residents can go online to book an appointment online for free COVID-19 testing at any County testing site. New dates are added on Wednesdays each week.

While appointments are strongly encouraged, residents will not be turned away.

Residents who make an appointment online will enter their contact information and choose a site location, appointment time, and may indicate whether they will require special accommodations.

Adults must show identification upon arrival for their test. Adults accompanying a minor must write down the child’s name and date of birth to present to staff upon arrival at the site.

Anyone Can Get Tested

Any resident can get tested as Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch has issued a standing order enabling any resident who wants to receive a COVID-19 test to do so.

Other Testing Locations

Baltimore County is continuing to offer testing at the below locations from 9 a.m. to noon on the days indicated:

Liberty Family Resource Center
3525 Resource Drive, Randallstown, Maryland 21133
Open Mondays. Walk-up clinic.

Dundalk Health Center
7700 Dunmanway, Dundalk, Maryland 21222
Open Mondays. Walk-up clinic.

Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium
2200 York Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093
Open Tuesdays and Thursdays. Drive-through clinic.

Owings Mills Maryland Vehicle Emissions Program (VEIP)
11510 Cronridge Drive, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
Open Wednesday and Fridays. Drive-through clinic.

Residents can book an online appointment at any of these sites here.

Additionally, residents can check with their local pharmacies about testing availability and can call the Baltimore County COVID-19 Hotline at 410-887-3816 with other coronavirus-related questions. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more COVID-19 related information, please visit the Baltimore County Coronavirus Updates and Guidance page.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017