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Three Baltimore County Animal Services employees test positive for COVID-19

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Animal Services is taking action to safeguard employees, animals, and patrons after three employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The three employees all work in animal care at the Baltimore County Animal Shelter, located at 13800 Manor Road in Baldwin.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, animals at the shelter, and our patrons will always be our major focus,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer and Director for Health and Human Services. “We have taken immediate and aggressive steps to mitigate the outbreak, while initiating protocols to ensure that the animals onsite continue to receive the care and attention they need.”

Effective immediately and until further notice, the following protocols are in place:

– Walk-in service at the shelter is temporarily discontinued.
– All services are by appointment only. The public must call 410-887-7297 prior to arriving.
– Site visit and daily monitoring of outbreak by Health Department staff is in place.
– Owner surrenders and adoption services are temporarily discontinued.
– Trap/Neuter/Spay services are temporarily discontinued.
– Stray drop-off is temporarily discontinued.
– Redemption of strays by owners is by appointment only.
– Surgeries performed only for animals currently housed at the shelter.
– Testing of all staff is in process.
– Staff work schedules altered to incorporate teleworking and splitting of shifts when possible.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the transmission of COVID-19 from a person to a pet has occurred in a small number of cases. The CDC recommendation is that persons with the virus refrain from close encounters with pets including petting, snuggling, sharing bedding and being kissed by their animal.

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Baltimore County Animal Services is working with current fosters to house eligible shelter animals and ask that all non-profit rescue organizations that can assist by taking animals into their organization send an email with that information to bcasrescue@baltimorecountymd.gov.

Individuals who have previously trained as BCAS volunteers and wish to help with animal care during this time should email bcasvolunteer@baltimorecountymd.gov.

For more information, please contact the Baltimore County COVID-19 Hotline at 410-887-3816. The Hotline is in operation seven days a week during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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