Olszewski Creates Street Tree Replacement Program

–photo courtesy of Baltimore County Government-

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced the new Street Tree Replacement program, continuing his administration’s ongoing efforts to restore critical green infrastructure throughout Baltimore County.

The County Executive, local community members and business owners kicked off the initiative — which will see more than 1,300 trees planted in six concentrated areas — by planting a native hackberry tree in downtown Towson.

“Baltimore County is fully committed to making our communities greener, cleaner, and more sustainable – and we are all in on trees as an important part of that commitment,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

“This new Street Tree Replacement Program will help bring back the tree-lined neighborhoods and business corridors that make our County a beautiful and healthy place to live and work.”

Baltimore County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (DEPS) will begin the $625,000 County-funded project by planting 72 street trees in Towson and 31 trees along Dolfield Road in Owings Mills this winter.

Beginning in May, crews will plant approximately 250 trees each in Dundalk, Owings Mills/Randallstown, Parkville, Pikesville and the Security Square area of Woodlawn.

DEPS will reach out to community leaders and adjacent property owners before each planting operation.

“We are excited about County Executive Olszewski’s commitment to add street trees in downtown Towson,” said Baltimore County Councilman Mike Ertel.

“Over the years, we have had many trees that have been lost to aging, disease, construction, vandalism and even car accidents.

The reality is that trees are an important part of a complete streetscape and create a more congenial, walkable and safer atmosphere.”

Trees are critical infrastructure supporting health and well-being by improving air quality, lowering summer temperatures and absorbing greenhouse gasses and stormwater. They are proven to reduce cooling costs and enhance property values.

Last year, Olszewski launched Operation ReTree Baltimore County, a hyper-local tree equity program designed to expand the tree canopy in the urban communities most in need of greening. Through this program, more than 1,000 trees have been planted in Dundalk, Essex Owings Mills, Randallstown and Lansdowne.

Between Operation ReTree Baltimore County and the new Street Tree Replacement Program, the County will plant more street trees in one year than the past eight years combined.

This year, DEPS created two new Forestry Management divisions focused on urban forestry and tree maintenance.

Since 2000, Baltimore County has reforested more than 1,000 rural acres in support of the County’s requirements under the Forest Conservation Act, tree canopy goals and municipal stormwater permit. For the past two decades, Baltimore County has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the US Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Baltimore County’s goal is to achieve and maintain a 50 percent tree canopy Countywide and within the three drinking water reservoirs by the year 2025.

Additionally, the County is striving to achieve and maintain 40 percent tree coverage within the more populated areas inside the Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL) and for each of the Census Designated Places (CDPs).

County to Give $2.67 Million Local Organizations for Relief

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that Baltimore County and the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) have awarded more than $2.67 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA)-funded grants to nearly 30 local community-based organizations to support their recovery and enhance efforts to strengthen neighborhood resiliency.

“Baltimore County remains committed to helping our residents recover from the long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am very happy to provide these grants to local organizations that continue to advocate for and work on behalf of their communities,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

“We are grateful to our federal partners for providing much-needed recovery funding, allowing Baltimore County to make these awards to nonprofits dedicated to providing critical services on behalf of our residents for years to come.”

Announced in June 2022, the Baltimore County COVID-19 Nonprofit Recovery Grant Fund offered grants starting at $25,000 to Baltimore County community-based organizations to support residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants, initially capped at $1.3 million and expanded to more than $2.6 million, were made possible through the County’s allocation of ARPA funding. Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) will administer the grants on behalf of Baltimore County.

Funds will to support a diverse range of community efforts, such as behavioral healthcare, conflict resolution services, food access, senior engagement, bilingual outreach emergency shelter and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and much more.

Additionally, funds will help cover revenue reductions or operating expense increases that have occurred due to the pandemic.

“This marks our third time partnering with Baltimore County on COVID relief and recovery and the process has really become seamless,” says Shanaysha Sauls, BCF President & CEO.

“The County Executive’s team is very thoughtful about how to meet the needs of the community and we are proud to put our expertise to use stewarding these critical funds to impactful organizations addressing the mental health crisis, supporting the vulnerable immigrants and refugees and ultimately building a stronger, safer, more resilient region.”

“Our local non-profit community serves critical functions for a surprising number of Baltimore County residents. That’s why we built flexibility into the federal investments we made through the American Rescue Plan, so that local governments could better partner with groups in their communities,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin.

“Team Maryland will continue finding ways to deepen investments in essential community services and to strengthen the non-profit partnerships on which so many Marylanders depend.”

“For many of our communities, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated hardships that already existed,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen.

“That’s why we passed the American Rescue Plan to provide direct resources to help our communities come back even stronger than before COVID-19. I’m pleased to see County Executive Olszewski using these funds to boost many local nonprofits’ efforts – whether they are getting food and clothes to families in need, facilitating access to mental health services, or connecting people to good jobs. This is the American Rescue Plan at work strengthening Baltimore County.”

A full list of the Baltimore County Emergency Response Fund awardees announced today is below:

Afrithrive, Inc.
Assistance Center of Towson Churches
Associated Catholic Charities, Inc.
Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
Asylee Women Enterprise, Inc.
Baltimore Association of Nepalese in America
CASA, Inc.
Center for Adoption Support and Education, Inc. (C.A.S.E.)
Civic Works, Inc.
Community Assistance Network (CAN)
Conflict Resolution Center of Baltimore County
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Episcopal Church of Christ the King/RISE
Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library
House of Ruth Maryland, Inc.
Improving Education
Jewish Community Services, Inc.
Life Builders Church
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Mental Health Association of Maryland
NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore
Northwest Hospital Center
Outcast Food Network
Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland
Student Support Network
The Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County, Inc.
TurnAround, Inc.
World Relief Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals

“The American Rescue Plan is game-changing legislation. Nearly two years after it was signed into law, we are still seeing its positive impacts on the lives of everyday people,” said Congressman Kweisi Mfume.

“This bold, congressional action helped our nation avoid another Great Recession, or perhaps even Great Depression, by investing in real communities that needed help then and now. I look forward to seeing the results the selected organizations will produce with this federal support,” he concluded.

“The organizations that are receiving grants today have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic and during our recovery, providing essential services in so many areas including healthcare, education, food assistance and even legal aid,” Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said.

“I supported the American Rescue Plan Act, in part, so that we can empower our community nonprofits to do what they do best – serving people – and I have no doubt we will see an exponential return on this investment.”

The COVID-19 Nonprofit Recovery Fund is the latest in a series of partnerships between Baltimore County and BCF. In March 2020, the County and BCF launched the Baltimore County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which provided 50 local community-based organizations grants totaling $400,000 to enhance the County’s response to the COVID-19 crisis last summer.

In June 2021, the County and BCF established a fund to support the Baltimore County Summer Youth Jobs Program, providing skills training, coaching and paid work experience at public and private sector organizations for 300 Baltimore County youth.

County Purchases Rec Center for Halethorpe

-photo courtesy of Baltimore County Government-

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced the purchase of the approximately 24,000-square foot Leadership Through Athletics indoor recreation facility, located at 2900 Hammonds Ferry Road in the Halethorpe community.

The site, acquired for $3.17 million with funding assistance through Maryland’s Program Open Space, continues the Olszewski administration’s ongoing efforts to expand recreational opportunities throughout Baltimore County.

“We remain fully committed to expanding recreational opportunities in every community across our county and are excited to have the opportunity to continue the rich legacy of this beloved Halethorpe facility,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I am grateful to our state partners, our colleagues on the County Council, and former County Executive Mohler for their support in helping to make this exciting new project a reality.”

The Leadership Through Athletics center was acquired from the Grace family, lifelong residents of southwest Baltimore County, who operated the facility for nearly 18 years.

The newly-acquired facility features a double gymnasium, second floor half gymnasium, activity room, and basement activity space.

This is the Olszewski administration’s eleventh recreation and parks acquisition since the start of 2021.

The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks will operate the facility as a public recreation center, with activities and programs that will build upon the legacy of the beloved community-oriented center.

“We are very excited about this new facility acquisition,” said Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks Director Roslyn Johnson. “The Grace family wanted to ensure this Lansdowne asset was accessible to the community and we will ensure it is. Lansdowne is an area that is in need of more recreational opportunities and, for us, this was an ideal opportunity to fulfill an important need.”

Established under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in 1969, Program Open Space provides financial and technical assistance to local jurisdictions for park acquisition, development, and enhancements.

Since 1970, the County has utilized over $155 million in POS funding to assist in the acquisition of more than 6,800 acres of parkland, and for the construction, enhancement and renovations of recreational facilities at parks and public school recreation centers. The parkland acquisition program has allowed for the preservation of thousands of acres of woodlands, stream valleys and other sensitive lands.

With the support of POS funding, Baltimore County has secured, expanded, and improved a wide range of public parks and recreation sites including Oregon Ridge Park and Nature Center, Cromwell Valley Park, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, seven regional parks and athletic facilities, and nearly 100 neighborhood and community parks.

Community Meeting for New Towson Schools

BCPS will host a community stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. to review the recommended mitigation option for the Towson High School renovation and replacement school project, including recommendations based on stakeholder input from a 30-day comment and survey period as well as the requirements of the Maryland Historic Trust (MHT) Section 106 process.

The meeting will be held at West Towson Elementary School cafeteria/gymnasium
6914 N. Charles Street in Towson.

Raven Theme Playground Built in Owings Mills

Baltimore County officials debuted a new Baltimore Ravens-themed playground in Owings Mills. The playground, made possible with a $500,000 contribution by the Baltimore Ravens as part of the NFL Play 60 Initiative, is the area’s first destination playground.

Located in Northwest Regional Park, the new playground includes a wheelchair-accessible rubberized surface, timed challenge course with obstacles, artificial turf 40-yard dash, custom climbing structures and a towering play system and slides reaching more than 17 feet tall.

“We believe all young people deserve access to high-quality, fun, and healthy play options – all things that are now offered to residents and visitors alike through our Ravens-themed destination playground,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

“I am grateful to the Baltimore Ravens, Speaker Adrienne Jones and my partners on the County Council for supporting this innovative, first-of-its-kind project.”

“We are honored to be involved with this meaningful project, knowing it will provide a safe and unique space for children and their families to enjoy,” said Baltimore Ravens president Sashi Brown.

“This destination playground is unlike anything in the area and we know it will offer fun and fitness for visitors from all over Baltimore County for years to come.”

The playground includes a wheelchair-accessible rubberized surface, timed challenge course with obstacles, synthetic turf 40-yard dash, musical elements, custom climbing structures and a towering play system with slides reaching more than 17-feet tall. PlayPower, Inc. constructed the approximately 0.8-acre playground.

“Children and families from across Baltimore County now have another safe place to play and enjoy the outdoors,” said House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones.

“I want to thank all our partners — including the Baltimore Ravens — who have once again shown their commitment to keeping Baltimore County a great place to live.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled about this project, which will put smiles on the faces of children countywide,” said Baltimore County Council Chairman Julian Jones.

“I’m glad my colleagues on the Council, our state partners and the Ravens organization could work together to make this a reality.”

Protecting open space and creating more recreational opportunities are priorities in Baltimore County, and County Executive Olszewski has dedicated a record $75 million in state and local funds for parks and recreation in his FY2022 budget; more than the last six years combined.

“With this year commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title 9, it is a great reminder that we need to not only push boys but also continue to push girls and women forward, supporting them in their athletic pursuits and ensuring they can see themselves out there on the playing field and in sports executives’ offices,” said Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks Director Roslyn Johnson. “Thanks to our many partners, this playground does just that!”

This project represents the Department of Recreation and Parks and Baltimore County’s dedication to reimagining the state of play in Baltimore County. Baltimore County has made access to quality recreation opportunities a priority and this destination playground is the first new example of that focus.

Menzer to Leave Dundalk Renaissance Corp.

-photo courtesy of DRC-

The Dundalk Renaissance Corp. announced that its Executive Director Amy Menzer is stepping down to take a position with Baltimore County Government.

Menzer has served as the DRC Executive Director for the past 15 years.

Dundalk Renaissance President Dan Dawes thanked Menzer for her service to Dundalk and her commitment to the DRC.

“Amy’s vision and leadership over the past 15 years has been a key driver to propel Dundalk Renaissance to become the organization it is today. And while she will be greatly missed by the staff, board, partners and our Dundalk neighbors, her tireless and thorough work over the years leaves us on very solid footing,” Dawes said.

“Personally, having worked alongside Amy as a board member for 5 years, I’ll miss her passion for helping our community, but I think it’s great that she’s taking this opportunity to share her talents on an even larger stage to help more neighborhoods in Baltimore County.”

Menzer announced on social media that she is taking a new position with the Baltimore County Department of Planning working with Director Steve Lafferty.

“It has been an incredible honor to do community development work in Dundalk,” Menzer said in a statement about her time at the DRC.

“I have learned so much and been challenged beyond belief and been privileged to work with great people and make concrete positive things happen.”

County to Distribute at-Home COVID Tests; Expand Test Sites

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced updates on Baltimore County’s ongoing efforts to expand access to COVID-19 testing, including plans for the distribution of 100,000 rapid at-home COVID tests for residents and the expansion of County-run testing sites.

“Expanding Baltimore County’s testing availability will help ensure residents can take every precaution to protect themselves and their loved ones amid the extremely contagious omicron variant,” Olszewski said. “I want to thank County Administrative Officer Stacy Rogers, Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch, and the entire Department of Health and Human Services team for their dedicated efforts to secure and distribute these tests to community members.”

“Being fully vaccinated and having ample access to testing are vitally important tools in decreasing the spread of this virus,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Increasing testing options and availability will also help to lessen the burden on our hospitals and emergency rooms.”

Baltimore County Expanding COVID-19 Community Testing Clinic Locations and Hours

Beginning the week of January 10, Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services will expand the County’s COVID-19 public testing clinic capacity. Updated testing clinic locations and times include:

NEW SITE: Former Sears Automotive Center at White Marsh Mall (Lower Level) (8200 Perry Hall Blvd, White Marsh, 21236)
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Liberty Family Resource Center (3525 Resource Drive, Randallstown, 21133)
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Drumcastle Government Center (6401 York Road, Towson, 21212)
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Dundalk Health Center (7700 Dunmanway, Dundalk, 21222)
Wednesdays: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Baltimore County Moving to Appointment-based Testing

To improve the patient experience, Baltimore County will be moving to appointment only testing at County testing clinics beginning Monday, January 10. You must have an appointment to receive a COVID-19 test.

To schedule appointments for next week, please visit baltimorecountymd.gov/covidtest. Residents are asked to assist relatives, neighbors, and loved ones in scheduling online appointments if they do not have internet access.

For more information, residents can call the Baltimore County COVID-19 hotline at 410-887-3816.

Rapid At-Home COVID-19 Test Community Distribution

County officials today announced plans to equitably distribute 100,000 free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests directly to residents through a variety of community-based channels. Information on the County’s community test distribution schedule is below:

Date Time Location Type
Monday, 1/10/22 1 p.m. until supplies last Catonsville Senior Center, 501 Rolling Rd., Catonsville, MD 21228 Drive Thru
Tuesday, 1/11/22 1 p.m. until supplies last County Career Center – Eastpoint Mall, 7930 Eastern Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21224 Drive Thru
Wednesday, 1/12/22 1 p.m. until supplies last Fleming Senior Center, 641 Main St, Dundalk MD 21222 Walk Up
Wednesday, 1/12/22 9.a.m. until supplies last Baltimore County Career Center – Liberty3637 Offutt Road, Randallstown, Maryland 21133 Walk Up
Wednesday, 1/12/22 4 p.m. until supplies last Dundalk PAL Center, 15 Commerce Place, Dundalk, Maryland 21222 Drive Thru and Walk Up
Thursday, 1/13/22 9 a.m. until supplies last Jacksonville Senior Center, 3605 Sweet Air Rd, Phoenix, MD 21131 Drive Thru
Friday, 1/14/22 9 a.m. until supplies last Bykota Senior Center, 611 Central Avenue, Towson, MD 21204 Drive Thru
Friday, 1/14/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Pikesville Branch, 1301 Reisterstown Road Pikesville, MD 21208 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Arbutus Branch, 855 Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus, MD 21227 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Catonsville Branch, 1100 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD 21228 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Cockeysville Branch, 9833 Greenside Drive, Cockeysville, MD 21030 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Essex Branch, 1110 Eastern Boulevard Essex, MD 21221 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Hereford Branch, 16940 York Road Hereford, MD 21111 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Lansdowne Branch, 500 Third Avenue Lansdowne, MD 21227 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Loch Raven Branch, 1046 Taylor Avenue, Towson, MD 21286 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL North Point Branch,1716 Merritt Boulevard, Dundalk, MD 21222 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Owings Mills Branch,10302 Grand Central Avenue Owings Mills, MD 21117 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Parkville-Carney Branch, 9509 Harford Road, Parkville, MD 21234 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Perry Hall Branch, 9685 Honeygo Boulevard, Perry Hall, MD 21128 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Randallstown Branch, 8604 Liberty Road Randallstown, MD 21133 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Reisterstown Branch, 21 Cockeys Mill Road, Reisterstown, MD 21136 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Rosedale Branch, 6105 Kenwood Avenue Rosedale, MD 21237 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Sollers Point Branch, 323 Sollers Point Road Dundalk, MD 21222 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Towson Branch, 320 York Road Towson, MD 21204 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL White Marsh Branch, 8133 Sandpiper Circle, Baltimore, MD 21236 Walk Up
Saturday, 1/15/22 9 a.m. until supplies last BCPL Woodlawn Branch, 1811 Woodlawn Drive Woodlawn, MD 21207 Walk Up
Sunday, 1/16/22 1 p.m. until supplies last Northwest Regional Park, 4515 Deer Park Rd, Owings Mills, MD 21117 Drive Thru
Sunday, 1/16/22 1 p.m. until supplies last Eastern Regional Park, 11723 Eastern Ave, Middle River, MD 21220 Drive Thru

All residents are encouraged to continue taking precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

To get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, please visit baltimorecountymd.gov/vaccine or by contacting your local urgent care, pharmacy, or your primary care provider.

Child Support in Baltimore County

One of the most monthly searched topics in Baltimore County is how do I file for child support or pay for child support

For whatever reason, it did not work out with the parent of your child and you need financial assistance or need to pay child support.

Here is step-by-step process on how to obtain child support in Baltimore County. If you have been ordered to pay child support, here are steps to begin that process

Filling Out Applications

Applications for Child Support services can be submit online via either the Department of
Human Services (DHS) Website or MyDHR portal

A paper application can be downloaded from the DHS Website and mailed to your local child support office.

Checking the Status of My Application
To check on a status of an application go to, https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/#/home

Obtain Information About My Case
To find out the latest information about a child support case, go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/#/home. Customers can also call the
DHS Customer Service Call Center at 1-800-332-6347.

Making a Payment
Payments can be made at
https://md.smartchildsupport.com (processing fees for making online payment are waived until
September 30, 2021); by calling at 844-324-3855; or by mailing a check by order to:
Maryland Child Support Account
PO Box 17396
Baltimore, Maryland 21297

Payments can be made at local child support offices and courthouses. In
addition, KIOSKS located in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County.

Finding My Child Support Hearing Date
To find out the date for your hearing, please call the DHS Customer Service Call Center at 1- 800-332-6347 to contact your local office.

Requesting Genetic Testing
You have the option to request genetic testing. Please contact the DHS Customer Service. Please call the center at 1-800-332-6347 to contact your local office.

Determining the Amount of Child Support
The Child Support Administration (CSA) has an online calculator that will estimate the amount of child support that the court may approve under current guidelines. It is recommended to consult with a lawyer if there are any questions about your legal rights and obligations.



Baltimore County to Require Indoor Masks

As jurisdictions across Maryland and nationwide continue to experience rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases amid the extremely contagious omicron variant, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today declared a local state of emergency to expand Baltimore County’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new local State of Emergency will give Baltimore County the ability to quickly adopt emergency public health measures to protect the safety and wellbeing of residents, assist the County in requesting additional resources from the state and federal governments to support response and recovery efforts, and quickly procure materials and supplies necessary for protecting public health.

“We’ve made undeniable progress in our fight against this deadly virus, but it is clear the omicron variant significantly challenges our efforts to combat the pandemic,” Olszewski said. “Renewing Baltimore County’s state of emergency ensures we have every tool in our toolbox to keep our residents safe and keep our children where they belong: inside the classroom.”

Baltimore County to Implement Masking Requirement until January 31, 2022

Under this new state of emergency, County Executive Olszewski today also announced a new public health order requiring all individuals ages five and over to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces in Baltimore County, effective 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 29, 2021 until January 31, 2022.

Baltimore County joins other large jurisdictions across Maryland, including Baltimore City, Howard County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in requiring face coverings in indoor settings.

“Government has an obligation to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our neighbors. I know firsthand that vaccines work. They help keep people out of hospitals—and keep people alive. Unfortunately, too many people have selfishly chosen to not get vaccinated” Olszewski added. “As a result, Baltimore County must now take this additional action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, reduce the burden on our healthcare system, and save lives.”

“We continue to encourage everyone to get tested if you are symptomatic or have had close contact with a confirmed case; get vaccinated if you have not already done so, and get boosted when eligible,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Initiating this local state of emergency alongside available testing, vaccination, and boosters will go a long way toward helping to slow the spread.”

Olszewski to Procure 100,000 Rapid At-Home Test Kits, Expand Large Scale Testing

County Executive Olszewski will allocate American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding and use emergency procurement authority under the declaration to secure 100,000 additional rapid at-home test kits to make available free to county residents.

In addition, Olszewski has directed the Baltimore County Department of Health to expand testing options by establishing an additional large-scale COVID-19 testing clinic.
Baltimore County will announce next steps on these efforts in the coming days.

Baltimore County has been a leader in efficiently and effectively delivering vaccines to residents, with over 600,000 individuals vaccinated. More than 76 percent of County residents aged 5 and older having received at least one dose.

However, since November 26, 2021, Maryland’s average positivity rate has increased over 264 percent. Over that same time, average number of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients in Baltimore County has increased over 188 percent.

As of today, Baltimore County hospitals had only 13 staffed ICU beds available countywide.

Face Covering Requirements

Beginning Wednesday, December 29 at 9 a.m., Baltimore County residents ages five 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.

Individuals will not be required to wear a mask if:
Eating or drinking while seated at food service establishments. 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.
Wearing a face covering would subject the person to an unsafe working condition.
Wearing a face covering would make it impossible to receive certain services, including dental care, shaving, and facial treatments.
Swimming or engaging in other physical activities
Operating any public transportation conveyance, provided that the person is the sole operator of the conveyance, and located in a separate compartment that is off-limits to riders.
This requirement is set to expire on January 31, 2022.

Olszewski most recently declared a local state of emergency in August 2021 amid the peak of the Delta variant spike earlier this year.

The Baltimore County Council will hold a vote to consider continuation of the County’s state of emergency beyond Monday, January 3, 2022 at the Council meeting scheduled for Monday, January 3.

All residents are encouraged to continue taking precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

To get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, please visit baltimorecountymd.gov/vaccine or by contacting your local urgent care, pharmacy, or your primary care provider.

Olszewski Tests Positive for COVID-19

Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski announced on Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. He released a statement on Twitter.

“As part of my regular testing regimen, I received a positive PCR test for COVID-19. I am both vaccinated and boosted. I’m asymptomatic and currently feel fine,” Olszewski said.

“This is a critical reminder of the challenges we all continue face amid the highly contagious Omicron variant.”

Olszewski added that he will quarantine and work from home. He stated the he has contacted the Department of Health about close contacts.