TOWSON, MD—The Baltimore County Department of Health announced on Friday that it had 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
- 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.”