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Coronavirus Updates: County Executive’s Response to Governor’s Stage 1 Reopening, Pop-up Pantries, EDA Launches Business Reopening Tool

Coronavirus Updates: County Executive’s Response to Governor’s Stage 1 Reopening, Pop-up Pantries, EDA Launches Business Reopening Tool

May 13, 2020

Media Contact:

Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412


ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement addressing the Governor’s announcement this evening:

“Governor Hogan has given individual counties and regions the discretion to review our own data and make decisions about when it is appropriate for us to relax certain restrictions. Howard County does not meet many of the criteria that the Governor outlined in his four building blocks to reopen.” 

Ball continued, “Our testing capacity has increased; however, we have only tested about 2% of our Howard County population, or nearly 6,000 individuals to date. Based on modeling to understand full exposure, we need to test up to 6,500 individuals a week. The Governor has demonstrated a commitment to acquire more testing, however these tests will likely go to larger jurisdictions first. Additionally, we do not yet have a robust contact tracing operation, we have 11 out of 45 positions currently filled, and need more time to achieve 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents. Howard County has also not seen a decrease in cases or hospitalizations over the last 14 days, and borders six jurisdictions, a majority of which have significant case rates.”

“Lastly, while we have ramped up our supply of PPE, it is still scarce and reopening sectors of our economy will increase demand making it more difficult to secure a safe stockpile.  

We do not have the building blocks in place that the Governor has outlined necessary for Stage One of reopening.

“We are evaluating the Governor's recommendations for Stage One and will be making decisions in the next couple of days on how we will move forward. We will continue to make these decisions based on the data, and on the safety and welfare of our residents.”


Pop-Up Pantries

The Community Organizations Active in Diester (COAD) have a series of pop-up pantries throughout the next few weeks. On each day listed below, the pantry is open from noon to 3 p.m. or until the food runs out. One bag limited per family. There is no ID required to receive a bag.


May 13 & 27

The Willows at Port Capital

7141 Beverly Drive

Elkridge, MD  


May 15 & 29

Howard Crossing Apartment Homes

8732 Town & Country Blvd.

Ellicott City, MD 


May 20 & June 3

The Seasons Apartments

9640 Barrel House Road

Laurel, MD 


May 22 & June 5

Chatham Gardens  

3332 North Chatham Road

Ellicott City, MD 


Business Guidance

The State of Maryland has released a series of guidance documents for different sectors of the economy as they prepare to reopen.

The Maryland Innovation Center (MIC), powered by Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA), launched its new World 2.0 site dedicated to providing thought leadership and insight for organizations who are seeking recovery and stability in a post-COVID-19 landscape. Since the onset of COVID-19, businesses have been consumed with response efforts and the retention of their employees. As part of the recovery phase, World 2.0 will integrate experiences and valuable lessons learned to provide roadmaps and enable businesses to thrive in the new normal, post-pandemic landscape.

“Our business community is facing significant challenges to innovatively adapt and quickly create spaces that keep their employees safe while allowing for our economy to continue,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “The Maryland Innovation Center once again is leading our state in providing a platform for businesses to engage with one another and identify best practices moving forward in our recovery.”

“As communities’ transition between response, recovery, and a new normal, we can expect leaders to redefine how success is measured and attained. Our goal is to bring visibility and clarity to what this new world looks like,” says Chuck Bubeck, Executive Director of the Maryland Innovation Center. “World 2.0 will be a platform for businesses and entrepreneurs to seek out approaches to adaptation in the post-pandemic landscape.”

World 2.0 will be a place for virtual collaboration and connection. To offer new perspectives on adaptation and resiliency to business leaders and entrepreneurs, World 2.0 will feature podcast interviews, videos, and articles in a collective resource library. The site will also offer a virtual town square for business leaders to ask questions and share their experiences throughout the phases of response, recovery, and the new normal.