Changes to Needle Exchange Program Service on Thursday, July 31

The Baltimore City Needle Exchange Program / Baltimore City Health Department Staying Alive Program will be operating on a limited schedule on Thursday, July 31 due to unavailability of one of the vans.

There will be no NEP at Pontiac & 9th (9:30-11:30am) or Ostend & James (12:45-3:30pm). We will be at our other Thursday sites North & Rosedale (9:30-11:30am), Monroe & Ramsay (12:45-3:30pm), and Baltimore & Gay (7-10pm).

For more information, please visit http://health.baltimorecity.gov/programs/substance-abuse or call 410-396-3731.

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Changes to Needle Exchange Program Service on Tuesday, July 29

The Baltimore City Needle Exchange Program / Baltimore City Health Department Staying Alive Program will be operating on a limited schedule on Tuesday, July 29 due to unavailability of one of the vans.

Services will be offered as normal at Montford & Biddle between 930 am & 11:30 a.m,, as well as at Freemont & Riggs between 12:45 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. The services for Pratt & Carey in the morning and Barclay & 23rd in the afternoon will NOT be able to take place as scheduled.

Wednesday’s services should be unaffected.

For more information, please visit http://health.baltimorecity.gov/programs/substance-abuse or call 410-396-3731.

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Baltimore City Health Commissioner Declares First Code Red Of The Summer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               

Media Contact: Michael Schwartzberg, PIO

O: (443) 984-2623 C: (443) 462-7939 E: michael.schwartzberg@baltimorecity.gov

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Declares First Code Red Of The Summer

BALTIMORE, MD (July 1, 2014) –  With a heat index for mid-afternoon tomorrow predicted to reach 105 degrees, interim Health Commissioner Dr. Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey has declared a Code Red for Wednesday, July 2. The heat index measures air temperature and relative humidity to indicate how hot it feels to an individual outside.

“We want to make sure that everyone in Baltimore takes appropriate precautions to ensure their safety during the expected hot weather,” said Dr. Duval-Harvey. “Heat-related hospitalizations and deaths are highly preventable. It’s important to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay in touch with your neighbors, especially seniors and medically frail individuals who live alone or without air conditioning.”

Staff from several city agencies will coordinate the opening of cooling centers around the city to offer air-conditioned space and water for residents without access to cool air in their homes. (Please note: Community Actions Centers, which normally open as Cooling Centers on Code Red declaration days, are closed on July 2 due to the Mayor’s Office of Human Services Community Action Partnership OHEP Energy Assistance event).

In 2013 in Baltimore City, there were six Code Red declarations issued (first was on July 7th) and two hyperthermia-related heat deaths, and in 2012, there were 17 Code Red declarations issued and 13 hyperthermia-related heat deaths.

The Baltimore City Health Department Office of Aging and Care Services will open the following senior centers as cooling centers from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., where cold water and air-conditioning will be available:

  • Waxter Center, 1000 Cathedral Street 21201
  • Oliver Center, 1700 N. Gay Street 21213
  • Sandtown-Winchester Center, 1601 N. Baker St. 21217
  • Hatton Center, 2825 Fait Avenue 21224
  • John Booth Center,2601 E. Baltimore 21224
  • Zeta Center, 4501 Reisterstown Rd. 21215

The Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP) will open the following recreation centers as cooling centers from 8:00am – 8:00pm:

  • Chick Webb, 623 Eden St. 21205
  • Ella Bailey,100 E. Heath Street 21230
  • Herring Run, 5001 Sinclair Lane 21206
  • Locust Point, 1627 E. Fort Avenue 21230
  • Mary Rodman, 3600 W. Mulberry St. 21229
  • Mt. Royal, 120 W. Mosher St. 21217
  • Robert C. Marshall, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. 21202
  • Roosevelt, 1221 W. 36th St. 21211
  • Samuel F.B. Morse, 424 S. Pulaski St. 21223

On a Code Red Heat Alert Day, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends that city residents:

  • Drink plenty of water or juice
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Wipe skin with cool water as needed
  • Reduce outside activities
  • Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing
  • Stay inside during the hottest time of day (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
  • Seek relief from the heat in air-conditioned locations
  • Check on older, sick, or frail people in your community who may need help responding to the heat
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods of time
  • Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

o   Confusion

o   Nausea

o   Light-headedness

o   High body temperature with cool and clammy skin

o   Hot, dry, flushed skin

o   Rapid or slowed heart beat

o   Seek medical help immediately if any of these symptoms occur

City residents who want information on the closest cooling center or who are concerned about a neighbor can call 311, the city service line.  Information about cooling centers is also available on the Baltimore City Health Department website at www.baltimorehealth.org/coderedinfo.   Any city resident experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 911.

The effects of heat are cumulative, meaning a person can become ill after several days of above average temperatures. Older adults and the medically frail are at an increased risk for developing heat-related illness. During heat waves, there is the potentialfor increased mortality from cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness and stroke.

Heat waves are silent killers. Heat is the leading weather-related killer according to the National Weather Service.  Each year, the heat kills more people than hurricanes and other weather-related phenomena combined. 

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Baltimore City Launches 2014 Code Red Heat Alert Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               

Media Contact: Michael Schwartzberg, PIO

O: (443) 984-2623 C: (443) 462-7939 E: michael.schwartzberg@baltimorecity.gov

Baltimore City Launches 2014 Code Red Heat Alert Season

BALTIMORE, MD (June 17, 2014) –  As temperatures begin to rise and with hot and humid conditions expected this week with a heat index approaching 100 degrees, Baltimore City health officials are announcing the 2014 Code Red Heat Alert initiative and reminding citizens of precautions to ensure their safety during hot weather.

In 2013, there were six Code Red declarations issued and two hyperthermia-related heat deaths, and in 2012, there were 17 Code Red declarations issued and 13 hyperthermia-related heat deaths.

A Code Red Heat Alert will be issued by the Health Commissioner when the forecasted heat index is equal to or greater than 105˚F.  The heat index measures air temperature and relative humidity to indicate how hot it feels to an individual outside. 

When a Code Red Heat Alert is declared, staff from several city agencies including the Health Department, Office of Aging and Care Services, Mayor’s Office of Human Services, and Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management will coordinate the opening of cooling centers around the city to offer air-conditioned space and water for residents without access to cool air in their homes.  Cooling centers will generally be open at five Community Action Center locations from 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekends and at six senior centers from 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays.

“Having a unified and coordinated agency response to potentially dangerous temperatures gives us the ability to best protect the residents of, and visitors to, Baltimore and to save lives,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

“Heat-related hospitalizations and deaths are highly preventable,” added Dr. Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey, Interim Health Commissioner for Baltimore City. “During hot summer days, it’s important to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay in touch with your neighbors, especially seniors and medically frail individuals who live alone or without air conditioning.” 

Information on declared Code Red days will be shared on the Health Department website, www.baltimorehealth.org (URL changing on July 9th to www.health.baltimorecity.gov); the BCHD Situation Update blog at https://bchdsitupdate.wordpress.com/, Health Department social media (Twitter – @Bmore_Healthy and Facebook – www.facebook.com/BaltimoreHealth), the Baltimore City 311 line and with local news media.

Heat waves are silent killers. Heat is the leading weather-related killer according to the National Weather Service.  Each year, the heat kills more people than hurricanes and other weather-related phenomena combined. 

The effects of heat are cumulative, meaning a person can become ill after several days of above average temperatures. Older adults and the medically frail are at an increased risk for developing heat-related illness. During heat waves, there is the potentialfor increased mortality from cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness and stroke.

During periods of extreme heat, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends that city residents:

  • Drink plenty of water or juice
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Wipe skin with cool water as needed
  • Reduce outside activities
  • Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing
  • Stay inside during the hottest time of day (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
  • Seek relief from the heat in air-conditioned locations
  • Check on older, sick, or frail people in your community who may need help responding  to the heat
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods of time
  • Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

Confusion

Nausea

Light-headedness

High body temperature with cool and clammy skin

Hot, dry, flushed skin

Rapid or slowed heart beat

Individuals should seek medical help immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

City residents who want information on cooling centers on declared Code Red days can call 311. 911 should be called for individuals having a heat related medical emergency or who are experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

 

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BCHD Delays/Closures for March 17, 2014

Aging and CARE Services:

  • Baltimore City Senior Centers are open without meals.
  • All senior nutrition residential sites will receive lunch and dinner meals as normally scheduled.

Clinics:

  • Eastern Health Center at 620 N. Caroline Street only Family Planning Services will be provided.
  • Druid Health Center at 1515 North Ave Family Planning and Dental services will be provided.
  • There will be no STD services today and tomorrow as those sites were already closed.

Harm Reductions Services:

  • Staying Alive Program will not be operating its mobile sites today due to the weather. However, we will offer services on our mobile unit located at 2300 Garrison Blvd.
  • If anyone needs information, they can reach us at 410-396-3731 or 410-396-3733.

Women Infants and Children:

  • BCHD WIC sites are open today at 10:00 a.m.
  • The WIC  sites at the Bon Secours Family Support Center and the DSS Broadway and North Ave. locations are closed.

Maternal and Infant Care Home Visiting:

  • The office at 620 N. Caroline is open
  • Home vistis will be conducted today
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Health Commissioner Issues Code Blue Alert For Overnight Tonight

BALTIMORE, MD (March 12, 2014) — With a predicted low wind chill of 10 degrees and a wind advisory in effect tonight through Thursday morning, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, M.D. has declared a Code Blue in Baltimore for between 6 pm today and 11 am tomorrow. Wind speeds are expected to be between 20 and 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. This will be the 34th Code Blue day of the season.

“It will feel especially cold after the relatively mild temperatures we have been experiencing during the past few days,” Dr. Barbot said. “We want to remind everyone that winter is still here and these low wind chills can create dangerous conditions for anyone outside for an extended period of time.”

Baltimore’s homeless and seniors are among the most vulnerable populations in extreme cold weather. During the Code Blue alert, emergency shelters will operate with overflow capacity and workers will conduct outreach for vulnerable residents.

During the Code Blue, the city’s 311 line will maintain normal hours of 6am to 10 pm to direct customers to the appropriate agencies and to allow customers to report problems or request service. Citizens may also report issues at http://www.baltimorecity.gov or by calling 410-396-3100 after hours.

Code Blue is a multi-agency coordinated approach to providing vulnerable populations in Baltimore City with relief from extreme cold weather. Code Blue indicates an increased risk for cold injuries or even death for those exposed to low temperatures. The program’s goal is to reduce the number of hypothermia deaths and related illnesses in the City. The greatest risk of illness and deaths due to cold weather is from December to February, with the risk peaking in January, typically the coldest winter month.

There have been four cold-related deaths so far this winter in Baltimore City; three males (all between 45 and 64-years-old) and a woman, older than age 65.

“People also need to remember safety tips for their pets,” Dr. Barbot said. “Dogs and cats should not be left outside for extended times during this cold weather. Wind chill can affect a pet’s life just as it can affect a human’s life.”

During the Code Blue, the Mayor’s Office of Human Services (http://humanservices.baltimorecity.gov/) has requested that all city-funded shelters add more spaces during this weather event and encourages private homeless shelters to extend their hours and keep people indoors.

Cold Weather Tips for Staying Healthy:
 Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing.
 Always wear a head covering, like a hat and/or scarf, when outdoors.
 Keep space heaters and candles away from flammable materials, such as curtains, furniture and loose clothing.
 Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcoholic beverages.
 Check on those who are elderly and/or chronically ill.
 Provide appropriate shelter for domestic animals.
 Heart patients are advised against physical exertion in colder temperatures.
 Protect yourself against falls in icy or snowy conditions

Based on historical data from Baltimore and data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the vulnerable populations in cold weather situations include:

 Street dwellers and the homeless
 Individuals abusing drugs (heroin/methadone), alcohol, or other substances
 Economically disadvantaged and without home heating
 Elderly persons and young children
 Individuals suffering from pre-existing heart conditions and diabetes
 Individuals with mental health problems

The Health Commissioner may declare a Code Blue alert based on the following criteria:

• When temperatures, including wind chill, are expected to be 13˚F or below. This threshold can be reached by having a temperature at or below 20˚F with 5 mph sustained winds or a temperature at or below 25˚F with 15 mph sustained winds.
• When other conditions (i.e. strong winds, forecasted precipitation for more than two hours, extended period of cold, sudden cold after a warm period) are deemed by the Health Commissioner to be severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore citizens.

Additional cold-weather resources for the public and a listing of city and private shelters, is available on the Health Department’s Code Blue website at http://www.baltimorehealth.org/codeblueinfo2.html.

In the winter of 2012-2013, there were 10 Code Blue days declared by the Health Commissioner and five deaths in Baltimore City. The prior winter (2011-2012) there were 11 Code Blue days and three hypothermia-related deaths.

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BCHD Services and Closures for Monday, March 3, 2014

Office of Aging and CARE Services:

  • Eating Together in Baltimore City Congregate Nutrition Sites are closed. Residential sites will receive meals.
  • The Senior Centers and Community Sites have emergency shelf stable meals available.
  • Meals on Wheels Update – Frozen meals went out on Friday in anticipation of this storm in addition to Fridays meal. Clients were instructed to hold them for today.

FHS Dialysis Transport:

  • Transport is operational today

 Dental Services:

  • Dentist on staff at Druid, Eastern patients will be rerouted to Druid.
  • Opening at 10:00 a.m.

STD Clinic:

  • Eastern Clinic open at 10:00 a.m.

Family Planning Services:

  • Services at Druid and Eastern are open

Maternal and Child Health:

  • B’Fit cancelled at Upton Druid Heights for tonight (March 3rd)
  • Office: MCH Administration OPEN
    • Location:  1001 E. Fayette
    • Phone:  410 396 1834
  • Office:  Baltimore Infants and Toddlers OPEN
    • Location:  3002 Druid Park Dr, Baltimore, MD 21215
    • Phone:  410 396 1666
  • Office:  Maternal and Infant Care Home Visiting OPEN
    • No home visits are operating
    • Location:  620 North Caroline
  • Office:  Women Infants and Children
    • On Monday, March 3rd, 2014 the Bon Secour WIC Site located at 26 N. Fulton Avenue and the DSS WIC site located in the Department of Social Services building at 2000 N. Broadway are closed due to the inclement weather
    • All other WIC locations are opening at 10am
    • Please call the WIC appointment center 410-396-9427 for updated clinic closure information and to reschedule appointments
    • If additional food assistance is needed please call 211
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