TOWSON, MD—In order to expand Baltimore County’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Friday declared a local state of emergency and has released additional information and guidance.
“Our highest priority is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents. In declaring this state of emergency, I am authorizing Baltimore County government to take all necessary steps to respond to any potential impacts the virus has on our communities,” Olszewski said. “This situation continues to quickly evolve and we are taking these new actions to help flatten the curve as we continue to work in partnership to limit the spread of this virus.”
County Executive Olszewski also announced additional updates regarding government operations during this public health crisis.
Baltimore County Public Library
Baltimore County Public Library will be closing from March 16 through March 29. Programs and mobile services will be cancelled through May 3. Overdue fines will not be incurred during the closure. All residents, and particularly those who have children who are out of school, are encouraged to visit www.bcpl.info for more information and to explore the library’s digital resources.
Department of Recreation and Parks
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the Department of Recreation and Parks will offer 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. weekdays. There is a limited number of meals available and they will be distributed on a first come first serve basis at the following locations:
County Executive Olszewski will make further announcements in the coming days regarding additional efforts regarding government operations following today’s declaration of a local state of emergency.
Hotline for Residents
The Baltimore County Department of Health has opened a hotline for residents to call with questions or concerns. The number is 410-887-3816. The hotline will now be operational seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All Baltimore 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: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. For the latest information from Baltimore County, please visit: https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/health.
The full text of the emergency declaration released today is below:
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
WHEREAS, I, John A. Olszewski, Jr., the duly elected County Executive for Baltimore County, Maryland, have been advised by the Director of Emergency Management for Baltimore County and the local Health Officer that COVID-19, a respiratory disease that spreads easily from person to person and may result in serious illness or death, is a public health catastrophe and a public safety emergency; and
WHEREAS, a Declaration of State of Emergency and Existence of a Catastrophic Health Emergency was declared by the Governor of the State of Maryland on March 5, 2020; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the President of the United States have declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern that poses an immediate danger to public safety; and
WHEREAS, as the COVID-19 public health catastrophe and public safety emergency continues; it threatens lives, health and property in Baltimore County, requiring Baltimore County to call all of its resources into limited or long term activation; and
WHEREAS, State assistance may be needed to protect public peace, health and safety in Baltimore County as well as the lives, health and property of the citizens of Baltimore County pursuant to Title 14 of the Public Safety Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland; and
WHEREAS, Resources are requested under applicable State and local emergency plans and may consist of personnel, equipment and use of facility space, as needed for this emergency to protect the public peace and safety of the citizens of Baltimore County.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDERED AND PROCLAIMED, by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland that, in accordance with the authority granted by the Charter and Laws of Baltimore County, Maryland including, but not limited to Section 3-1-503 of the Baltimore County Code, and pursuant to any and all authority vested to me by the Maryland Constitution and the Laws of Maryland, including but not limited to §14-111 of the Public Safety Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, THAT A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND CATASTROPHIC HEALTH EMERGENCY EXISTS IN BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND, AND
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT:
Executive Order No. 2020-002
NOW THEREFORE, Pursuant to the authority vested in me by the State law, the Baltimore County Charter, and laws of Baltimore County, I, John A. Olszewski Jr., Baltimore County Executive, hereby proclaim that a state of emergency exists in Baltimore County this thirteenth day of March in 2020.