Home | Careers | Font size A A A
Click here to signup for notifications from Howard County Maryland Government

The Howard County Health Department


The Howard County Health Department and other State Agencies will be CLOSED on Monday, February 15, 2016 in observance of Presidents Day. 
We re-open on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at normal business hours.
There will be no birth certificate services available.

Advisory Alert Web Banner 


   Click HERE or above to go to current Health News  

Cold Weather Safety

Forecasts have indicated weather with temperatures in the low teens and single digits with winds that will yield cold that can be dangerous after periods of exposure if proper precautions are not taken. Some of the dangers associated with winter weather include hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and injuries from heat sources. 

A danger of extreme cold is frostbite. Frostbite is the freezing and subsequent damage to the body tissue. The areas most likely to freeze are toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose. To protect yourself and your family in extreme cold weather, follow the below tips:  

  • Cover your head. You lose as much as 50 percent of your body heat through your head. Wear several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. The air between the layers acts as insulation to keep you warmer.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect lungs from direct cold air. Cover your ears and the lower part of your face.
  • Wear mittens rather than fingered gloves. The close contact of fingers helps keep your hands warm.
  • Wear warm leg coverings and heavy socks, or two pairs of lightweight socks.
  • If you are in need of shelter, call Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center at (410) 531-6006.
  • Do not forget about pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association has great tips for all of our four-legged family members. Visit www.avma.org for more.
  • Vehicles should contain items such as heavy blankets, water, nonperishable food, a flashlight and a snow shovel. More information about cold weather preparedness may be found at: emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/  

Be sure to check on the well-being of neighbors, family and friends during this cold snap. As with any other emergency, citizens should call 9-1-1 if they encounter a cold-related emergency.

Zika Virus

Zika virus picThe Zika virus is spread mostly through the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of Zika have been found in most countries in Mexico, Central and South America, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.

Zika virus symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. 

For pregnant women the virus can be dangerous to the growing baby.

Current advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is that men with a pregnant partner should use a condom or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy if they have visited, or live in, an area where mosquitos are spreading the Zika virus, .  It is important that pregnant women who have travelled to areas with Zika virus transmission tellZikaMap2-16 their doctors.

The Zika virus in the United States has been in people returning home from travel to affected countries. The Maryland Department of Hea;th and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) reported its first confirmed case of a Marylander being infected with the Zika virus. The patient had traveled to a country where Zika transmission has been active and ongoing. A blood test confirmed that the patient had Zika.

The  Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DHMH) webpage on the Zika virus as excellent information and resources.

There is a section Clinicians/Healthcare providers.

More detailed information and clinician guidance may also be found on the HCHD News & Alerts page 

February is Heart Health Month

American Heart Month - Go red!

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Maryland has the 17th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country. In 2010 10,915 people died of heart disease in the State.

To prevent heart disease the Health Department is proudly participating in American Heart Month. You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.
To lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy 

Below are a few resources to keep you and your heart healthy:

 Seasonal Flu Information 

The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get your flu shot. To see who should get a flu shot and what to do to stay healthy, Contact your health care provider or visit a local retailer, pharmacy or supermarket for your vaccine (most of which accept insurance).  FluMist, the nasal spray vaccine, remains delayed due to distribution challenges at the manufacturer.  However, flu shots are widely available. Check out the CDC's FLU VACCINE FINDER to find a flu shot location close to you!

HCHD Flu Vaccine & Immunization Clinics



 Date/TIme   Location   Vaccines Offered    Additional Information 




Columbia Health Center
8930 Stanford Blvd
Columbia, MD 21045

Flu Shots only

 NO Flu Mist

FREE Flu Shots
Flu shots are for those 6 months of age and older.
Medicare Part B accepted. Please bring your card.

No appointments necessary.

For questions, call 410-313-7500.

Opiod Overdose Prevention Response Classes - Learn to Save a Life

The Howard County Health Department is offering FREE Opioid Overdose Response Program trainings to become certified to administer naloxone for Howard County residents 18 years of age and older. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose, perform rescue breathing, give intra-nasal naloxone (a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose by restoring a person's ability to breathe) and learn to care for the individual until help arrives.
The next classs will be held:

Day   Date  Time   Location   Phone Number to Register(Voice/Relay)
Monday February 22, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Howard County Health Department

8930 Stanford Blvd., Columbia, MD 21045

410-313-6202 for further classes and information
Monday March 21, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Howard County Health Department

8930 Stanford Blvd., Columbia, MD 21045

410-313-6202 for further classes and information

Opioid Overdose Response Program Information Video is Available for Viewing OnlineTo view, click on the following: OORP Video Link.

Health Related Issues Complaint Report

 (Click to go to form) 

Foodborne Illness Graphic 

IMPORTANT: If you believe you have an illness related to eating bad food or food product, please call our Bureau of Environmental Health immediately at 410-313-1772. After business hours, leave a message with your call back information and we will return your call in the morning of the following day.

Request the Health Department at Your Next Health with HCHD's Health Education Event Request Form  


Health Fair Graphic(2)Please submit the Health Education Event Request Form at least two (2) weeks prior to your event. We make every effort to accomodate all requests. However, participation is based on resources and availability.

Public Information Act Request Forms

 PIA Request Web Graphic <-- Click on the graphic for the form   

Contact Numbers

Administration:    410-313-6300 

Toll Free: 1-866-313-6300 

Columbia Health Center:    410-313-7500 

North Laurel Health Center:    410-313-0630 

Behavioral Health Services:    410-313-6202 

Environmental Health:    410-313-2640

Or you may send an e-mail to:

Howard County Health Department 
8930 Stanford Blvd. Columbia, MD 21045
Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM  Monday through Friday