Howard County is under a State of Emergency.

All Howard County Government gatherings, events, and meetings that attract one of the high-risk populations are canceled or rescheduled until further notice.

Non-emergency County offices and facilities will be closed to the public until further notice, though operations will continue through teleworking by eligible employees, as designated by their respective department heads.

Current Restrictions and Closures
Business or Activity Defined As Restrictions
Howard County Government Buildings   Closed To Public Until Further Notice
Howard County Council Meetings and offices Closed to Public Until Further Notice
Howard County Public Schools   Hybrid Learning 
Howard County Libraries   Open for limited in-person service and contactless pickup
50+ Centers   Open for limited in-person service
Latest Press Releases
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HoCo RISE - Reopening Innovatively, Safely, and Effectively
What is HoCo Rise?

HoCo RISE is Howard County Executive Calvin Ball’s plan of Reopening Innovatively, Safely, and Effectively within the framework laid out by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. HoCo RISE uses data to inform decision-making around reopening and, if necessary, when to maintain our restrictions: 

  1. The number of new cases. 
  2. The number of new hospitalizations.
  3. The number of patients admitted to ICU.
  4. The number of tests conducted.
  5. The amount of available PPE. 
  6. Surge capacity at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH). 
  7. HoCo RISE follows the Governor’s guidance on the building blocks for reopening 
To view the complete HoCo RISE framework, please click here.  

Howard County is offering HoCo RISE Business Grants funded through its allocation of the CARES Act. To learn more about how to apply and if you're eligible for a business grant, please click here. To see how Howard County has spent its CARES Act funding, please view our new dashboard here.

HoCo RISE Collaborative

County Executive Ball established the collaborative through Executive Order . The HoCo RISE Collaborative is chaired by former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, will be supported by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, and is made up of five independent workgroups that will develop and provide recommendations on the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, including:

  • Jobs and the Economy
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Public Health Response
  • Family Opportunities
  • Government Response
Outdoor Seating Permits

Restaurants and bars that do not currently have outdoor table service or need to expand existing outdoor table service can apply for a Temporary Use Permit for Outdoor Table Service by visiting:

If the proposed outdoor seating is located on private property, businesses may provisionally set up and begin using the outdoor seating; however Howard County may suspend, revoke, or require modifications to the arrangement should conditions that conflict with Howard County guidelines or safe operations arise. If the proposed outdoor seating is located on county property, businesses must wait for their permit to be issued before setting up new seating.

If you are unsure if your situation needs a permit, please read through this flowchart.

HoCo Maps

'HoCo Food Distribution' is a mapping tool that lists the different meal, grocery, and other free food distribution sites around Howard County for those in need. Check out the map here. 

‘HoCo Food Go,’ is a resource which lists and maps different delivery and carryout options for Howard County restaurants. Check out the map here. 

'HoCo Farm Connect' is a resource which lists and maps Howard County farms that are selling produce, dairy, meat and more directly to residents. Check out the map here.

'HoCo Donation Collection' is a tool which lists and maps locations for Howard County residents to drop-off product donations needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.Check out the map here.

Open County Services
Alpha Ridge Landfill

The County's Alpha Ridge Landfill is open at this time; however, certain operations have been suspended in effort to protect the staff and the public. The Landfill should ONLY be used by residents with critical bathroom or kitchen trash disposal needs who do not have curbside collection service (either provided by the County or a private hauler). For more information, click HERE.

County Parks and Recreation Programs All park gates are open. Boat rentals and pavilions remain closed. Residents may access parks from walking trails, but are encouraged to practice social distancing. View the latest program options and status here
Courts Updated March 12, 2021 – On Monday, March 15, the Circuit Court for Howard County will move to Phase IV in the Judiciary’s reopening plan. The Courthouse is open to the public subject to building and room capacity limits. The Clerk’s Office is open to the public. Jury trials will NOT be held until after April 30, 2021. The Court will hear cases remotely and in person, subject to capacity limits in compliance with Orders issued by the Maryland Judiciary, which can be found at:
Economic Development Authority Howard County Economic Development Authority has created an information portal for the business community impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that is available online.
Emergency Services All emergency services including Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services
Inspections Inspections of buildings, roads, traffic lights and other infrastructure delivered online or call 410
Health Department

The Howard County Health Department is open for essential services BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Appointments must be made in advance.  To schedule an appointment call 410-313-6300Many services are still available remotely

Health Insurance  The Maryland Health Connection opened a new Special Enrollment Period to uninsured Marylanders who need health coverage during the State of Emergency for Coronavirus (COVID-19) 
Housing/Tenants For questions related to mortage or rent payments during coronavirus. 
Payments [Department of Finance] Alternative payment options can be found here for County bills and citations. For questions, please call 410-313-2195.
Planning and Zoning Applications, documents, forms and plans submitted to or by direct mail, or call 410-313-2350.
Police Reports HCPD encourages residents to file online at or call 410-313-2200.
Public Works Send inquiries by email or call 410-313-4400.
RTA Transit Full service effective.  Click here for schedule.
Trash and Recycling Curbside collection is running on-schedule. See full updates for Alpha Ridge Landfill.
School Meals Find schedules and the latest announcements here. 

If you're facing unemployment due to coronavirus, please see resources from the State and our Office of Workforce Development.

Social Media
The above information is rapidly evolving, to stay informed on coronavirus updates, please follow social media: