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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: health

Plan for Youth Sports Must Follow Requirements Based on Guidelines from CDC, County Health Officer

The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks today announced that it will authorize rec councils to hold youth sports in the fall, with strict requirements in place to protect public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Baltimore County Health Department, and the National Recreation and Parks Association, the County developed guidelines to protect public health, which includes requiring the use of face coverings by all individuals who aren’t actively playing the sport, and limiting spectators to parents and guardians of players.

The plan also encourages social distancing and prohibits individuals from sharing personal equipment.

It is the responsibility of all facility users to follow the requirements. Failure to adhere to County guidelines may result in removal from Recreation and Parks property.

The Department will continue to follow all State Executive Orders related to recreational activities.

Below is the full list of requirements for programs that are utilizing Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Facilities or programs that are operating under a permit issued by Baltimore County Public Schools to the Department of Recreation and Parks:

  • Participation in programs is only allowed if you have had no signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and you have not been exposed to someone who has had signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for a minimum period of 14 days before participation.
  • Participation in programs requires a signed Baltimore County COVID-19 Waiver Form.
  • If you are sick or feel sick, you should remain home.
  • At risk individuals, youth or adult, should remain home.
  • Temperature checks, under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, are required for players, volunteers and coaches.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available at all activities.
  • Assign an area for each player to place their equipment.
  • No sharing of drink bottles or any personal equipment.
  • No centralized hydration or refreshment areas.
  • No spectators at events, with the exception of parents and guardians.
  • Masks are required for parents and guardians if not practicing social distancing.
  • Masks are required by all volunteers and coaches in the program.
  • Masks are required for participants when entering the field and while on the bench.
  • Masks are not required for players and officials while on the field of play, but are recommended.
  • Social distancing should be practiced at all possible times.
  • Participants should refrain from handshakes, huddles and high fives.

In addition to recommendations that must be followed by all participants, some sports will be required to follow specific guidelines.

Sport Specific Guidelines

Football:

  • No Tackle Football games/scrimmages
  • Flag football games/scrimmages are authorized
  • Drills and conditioning activities are authorized
  • Player gloves are recommended

Soccer:

  • No throw-ins
  • Goalkeeper must wear gloves

Baseball and Softball:

  • A clean ball must be utilized at each change of team at bat, i.e. each half inning

Cheerleading:

  • No stunts
  • Masks must be worn at all times.

Responds to Over 20,000 Pandemic-Related Inquiries and Requests from the COVID-19 Hotline

The Baltimore County Department of Health hit its goal to distribute 100,000 COVID-19 safety kits to County residents in order to help mitigate and slow the spread of the coronavirus in communities hardest hit by the epidemic.

Kits are provided to locations across Baltimore County, including:

  • PAL Centers
  • Faith and community organizations
  • Nonprofits
  • Apartment complexes
  • Food distribution sites
  • COVID-19 testing clinics

“From the outset of this pandemic, our team at the Health Department has been working around the clock to protect the health and well-being of our residents,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “I want to thank all our frontline staff for reaching these milestones. By continuing to focus our efforts in the most impacted communities, we can work together to stop the spread and save lives.”

In addition, the Department’s COVID-19 Hotline has received over 20,000 inquiries and requests for assistance since the line opened in March of this year.

“Our African-American and Latinx communities are disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “We’ve worked diligently to get safety kits into the communities hardest hit in order to provide safeguards and information that help to slow the spread of the virus. It is vitally important that efforts like this continue.”

The kits contain educational materials and personal protective items such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and paper soap (as available). Launched in May, the initiative was expected to take until December to complete. However, the demand for items provided and the Department’s commitment to meeting the need resulted in reaching the goal months ahead of schedule.

The County’s COVID-19 hotline is available seven days a week by calling 410-887-3816. Staff assist callers with everything from scheduling appointments for testing to helping residents successfully quarantine. Bilingual staff are available to assist residents who speak Spanish. 

The Safety Kit distribution initiative is a joint effort between the Baltimore County Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Partnership for Prevention (an Owings Mills-based nonprofit focused on disease prevention and education with an emphasis on high-risk populations).

Department of Health staff are also in the community emphasizing the importance of correctly wearing face coverings, frequently washing hands, consistently practicing physical distancing and encouraging residents to "Stay Smart, Stay Safe."


Maps Show Youth Meal Sites and Locations Offering Carryout or Delivery

As Baltimore County continues to identify ways to assist residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced new resources to help residents locate food distribution sites and identify County restaurants offering food pickup, carry out and delivery services.

“As we continue to respond to this rapidly evolving situation, we have to make sure our residents can access fundamental necessities—especially food,” Olszewski said. “We will continue to work around the clock to identify additional resources to provide food security for Baltimore County families during this challenging time.”

The new Food Distribution Sites Map has information about locations offering free meals for youth throughout the County. It includes locations operated by both the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks PAL centers and Baltimore County Public Schools. Users can search for locations closest to where they live. The map will be updated as additional food resources become available for youth and other populations.

The County has also unveiled an online form to allow restaurants to self-report whether they are offering services during this time. Restaurant operators can share their location and what services they are providing, and the data collected will populate an interactive online map that residents can search. The BaltCo To-Go Map is online here.

County Expands Gathering Prohibition to 10 or More to Align with New State Actions

Additionally, County Executive Olszewski has directed Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch to expand Baltimore County’s prohibition on gatherings or events to 10 or more people at all locations and venues to align with today’s announcement by Governor Hogan. Dr. Branch is also adopting new regulatory measures to require establishments to ensure social distancing and sanitation measures to promote public health. Residents should continue to call 911 to report violations of this order.

These are the latest actions from Baltimore County government to protect employees and members of the public and minimize the spread of COVID-19. County Executive Johnny Olszewski has issued an Emergency Declaration and taken the following actions:

  • Mandatory Employee Telework: Baltimore County has mandated telework for all employees who are able to do so.
  • Department of Recreation and Parks Providing Meals: The Department of Recreation and Parks will be offering limited meal distribution to children 18 and under through the Maryland Food Bank and Healthy Food Access St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore. The Department will offer the take-away meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. Meals will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the following locations:
    • Dundalk PAL Center, 15 Commerce Place, Dundalk, Maryland 21222
    • Mars Estates PAL Center, 1498 East Homberg Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21221
    • Shady Spring PAL Center, 8876 Goldenwood Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21237
    • Hillendale PAL Center, 1111 Halstead Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21234
    • Cockeysville PAL Center, 9836 Greenside Drive, Cockeysville, Maryland 21030
    • Scotts Branch PAL Center, 3651 Rolling Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21244
    • Winfield PAL Center, 8304 Carlson Lane, Baltimore, Maryland 21244
    • Woodmoor PAL Center, 7111 Croydon Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21207
  • Water Shutoffs Halted: County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Mayor Young announced that neither municipality will turn off water service for failure to pay.
  • Evictions Suspended: All evictions have been suspended for the duration of the state of emergency in the County.
  • Fast-tracking Alcohol Delivery for Bars and Restaurants: Expediting approvals to temporarily allow establishments to deliver alcoholic beverages to residents in Baltimore County.
  • Government Building Restrictions: Directed County government buildings to be available to the public through appointment only.
  • Baltimore County Health Department Hotline: The Baltimore County Department of Health has a hotline for residents to call with questions or concerns about COVID-19. The number is 410-887-3816. The hotline is open seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Extension of Licenses and Permits: County Executive Olszewski issued an Executive Order providing an extension of all County licenses, permits, registrations and other authorizations until 30 days following the end of the local state of emergency. This applies to suspensions concerning payments of late fees owed to Baltimore County.
  • Baltimore County Public Libraries Closed: All Baltimore County Public Library branch locations are closed through Sunday, March 29.
  • Baltimore County Senior Centers Closed: All Baltimore County Senior Centers will be closed to the public until further notice. Seniors can call the Maryland Access Point hotline at 410-887-2594. Calls are answered by a team of Certified Information and Assistance Specialists (CIRS), Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Department of Recreation and Parks Buildings Closed: All Department of Recreation and Parks buildings are closed to the public until further notice. County parks, trails and open spaces remain open to the public. All dog parks, playgrounds, skate parks, comfort stations and portable toilets are closed.
  • CCBC Classes Canceled: All in-person CCBC classes are canceled through Friday, March 22, and will resume remotely via alternative teaching methods starting Monday, March 23. Online classes will continue to be held as scheduled.
  • Suspension of County Travel: Suspending all County government-related travel through April 30.

Additional Resources

All County residents are encouraged to take the proper precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including regular hand-washing and social distancing as appropriate. All residents, and particularly those at high risk, should follow CDC guidance. For up-to-date fact sheets and information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC website.

Find the latest information from the state of Maryland or Baltimore County.

The latest updates from the Baltimore County School System, including information on school meals, is available on the BCPS website.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017