Whether you're looking to get tested, vaccinated, or find general information to guide you and your organization, see our resources below for Howard County residents regarding COVID-19.
KN95 and N95 Masks for the Community
On January 13, 2022, Governor Hogan announced that local health departments would begin distributing KN95 and N95 masks to the community. We are excited about the Governor’s announcement and are awaiting details about the arrival of our shipments. In the meantime, we are developing distribution plans which we will share as soon as we have more information. Check back here or on our social media platforms for updated information.
Omicron is a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 and is spreading through community transmission in Maryland. Studies suggest that this new variant may be more contagious, but more information is needed to determine whether it poses a greater or lesser health risk than other variants. Until we know more, any COVID-19 infection can be life threatening, particularly if you are unvaccinated or have underlying medical conditions. The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including Omicron and other variants, is to get vaccinated, get a booster as soon as you are eligible, get tested if you have symptoms and wear a mask in indoor public settings or crowded environments.
For more detailed information about the Omicron variant, visit the CDC Omicron Variant: What You Need To Know page.
Note: The Howard County COVID-19 Dashboard receives case data from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). Due to the recent network security issue at MDH, case data is not available at this time. Reporting will resume when the issue is rectified.
CARES Act Spending Dashboard
The emergency legislation suspending some rules regarding outdoor dining expires on November 15, 2021. At that time, all “OS20” and “OS21” Outdoor Seating permits will expire and become invalid.
Knowing what a success and welcomed addition the outdoor seating has been to you and your customers, Howard County has developed an expedited process to allow you to request to keep your outdoor restaurant seating. Those who wish to make their temporary outdoor seating permanent, can do so but must get approval through one of two processes. Unfortunately, not all outdoor seating arrangements will be able to be approved. However, those that can be permitted must be approved through one of two processes: either the Simplified Permit Review, or the Permanent Outdoor Seating Review (POSR). (Note: Facilities served by a well and/or an On-site Sewage Disposal System are not eligible for the Simplified Permit Review.) To see if your outdoor seating can be made permanent and to determine which process you will need to follow go to:
If you have any questions, contact Jill Manion in the Department of Planning & Zoning (DPZ) at [email protected] or 410-313-2350, or Don Mock in the Department of Inspections, Licenses & Permits (DILP) at [email protected] or 410-313-2436.
‘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.
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:
- The number of new cases.
- The number of new hospitalizations.
- The number of patients admitted to ICU.
- The number of tests conducted.
- The amount of available PPE.
- Surge capacity at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH).
- 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