Coronavirus Updates: Executive Order Requiring Face Masks, Courts Extend Closures, Extended Travel Restrictions for County Employees 

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Governor Hogan signed an Executive Order requiring all residents to wear face masks at all stores, pharmacies, or on public transportation, effective Saturday April 18th at 7:00 am. Face coverings can be homemade using bandanas, scarves, or t-shirts or residents may also wear disposable or cloth masks. Tutorials for homemade masks are available online from the Center for Disease Control.  

“It’s been one month since our first case in Howard County, and we’ve started to see the positive effects of our collective efforts, but we’re still in the midst of this crisis and we must remain resolute in our commitment to social distancing, wearing face coverings, and staying at home as much as possible,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “This is tough – but we need to continue to practice all these mitigation measures to limit the spread and keep each other safe.” 

Court Closures 

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued two new administrative orders regarding COVID-19. The first one guides the response of trial courts in MD on the release of incarcerated and imprisoned individuals. The second order extends court closures to the public through June 5, 2020. Read each order in full, here.   

Extended Travel Restrictions for County Employees 

Today, Howard County extended the out-of-state travel restrictions for County employees until further notice. The original order was issued on March 10th for a 45-day period.  

Howard County Sheriff’s Office 

During this COVID-19 pandemic, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office wants to ensure that the public is informed, and the needs of our community are being met. Please see below for information regarding Victim Advocacy, Court Orders and available resources. 

Victim Advocate: 

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate remains available M-F 800-430, splitting time as needed at the District Court and otherwise by email and phone. For questions about the process that is currently required to obtain an order of protection or resource information, please contact Dina Ward at 410-313-4012 or 


Extreme Risk, Peace and Protective Order: 

Howard County Commissioners are hearing Extreme Risk, Peace and Protective Order filings. When an order is issued, you will receive further instruction for the next hearing. The Howard County District Court has started conducting, Extreme Risk, Peace and Protective Order hearings remotely (providing a Skype service). If either party to the case is not able to participate remotely, an in-person appearance can be made. Please contact the District Court at 410 480 7703 to obtain required information to move forward with your case. 

Hopeworks, the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault advocacy group for Howard County is still accepting phone calls for interview purposes to assist in legal representation for Protective Order cases. Please contact 410-997-0304 or if you have any questions about the services they offer. 24-hour Sexual, Dating and Domestic Violence HOTLINE 410-997-2272  

Howard County COVID-19 Dashboard and webpage is updated daily with confirmed cases, local and state resources, and closure updates.