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Governor Announces Additional Steps to Further Expand COVID-19 Testing

July 2nd, 2020 by WCBC Radio

As state health officials continue to call for caution and vigilance in the fight against COVID-19, Governor Larry Hogan today announced additional steps to further expand testing, including a new Maryland Department of Health (MDH) directive instructing physicians to order a test for any individual who requests it, as well as additional testing site options.

The governor also announced that state health officials are strongly encouraging anyone who works in close-contact settings, as well as individuals who have traveled or returned to Maryland from out-of-state travel, to get tested. 

“While other states are experiencing testing shortages, the State of Maryland will continue to have an abundant supply of testing available at no out-of-pocket cost to anyone in our state who wants to be tested,” said Governor Hogan. “As more and more people are returning to the workplace, and as more Marylanders are beginning to interact with larger numbers of people, testing will become even more critical. We are making great strides in further expanding testing in Maryland, and strongly encourage anyone who is interested to get tested.”

“From the Baltimore Convention Center and Six Flags America, to VEIP stations, urgent care centers, drop-in clinics and retail partners, we are committed to making testing convenient for everyone across the state,” said Fran Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health. “As Marylanders go back to activities outside the home, we will continue to provide testing and expand those services where needed.”

NEW ORDER REQUIRES TESTING ON DEMAND: A new Maryland Department of Health order instructs health care providers across the state to order a test for any individual who requests it, regardless of symptoms. As some testing sites continue to require a doctor’s order, the new directive ensures that this requirement may no longer pose an obstacle to Marylanders who wish to be tested. Read the order here.

HEALTH OFFICIALS ADVISE TESTING FOR OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL: The department’s order advises individuals belonging to one of the following categories to contact their healthcare provider to arrange to be tested:

  • Asymptomatic individuals where COVID-19 exposure may be possible, including contact with confirmed cases, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, individuals employed in close contact settings, and individuals who have attended large gatherings
  • Individuals who have traveled to or returned to Maryland from out-of-state travel

NEW TESTING SITES IN OCEAN CITY AND DEEP CREEK LAKE: COVID-19 testing has now expanded to more than 220 sites in Maryland, including new sites meant to address an increase in summer activity.

  • Deep Creek Lake. The Garrett County Health Department, along with MDH and local partners, is offering appointment-free, drive-thru testing at Deep Creek Lake. Testing will be held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds at 270 Mosser Road in McHenry from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, July 3.
  • Ocean City. The Worcester County Health Department and the town of Ocean City are now offering COVID-19 testing by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the West Ocean City Park and Ride. The site is located at 12940 Inlet Isle Lane in Ocean City, and appointments are available by calling 410-632-1100 x 1119.

EXPANDED SCHEDULING OPTIONS: To further increase convenience and accessibility at COVID-19 testing sites, MDH and local partners are now providing patients with the ability to schedule their own appointments online at more sites. 

  • Patients can schedule their own appointments at the Columbia VEIP, Pimlico Race Course, and Baltimore Convention Center testing sites by visiting coronavirus.maryland.gov and clicking on the “Testing” tab. 
  • Although an appointment is strongly encouraged, the Pimlico Race Course and Baltimore Convention Center testing sites will continue to accommodate walk-up patients. No doctor’s order is required at these sites. 
     
  • Both Glen Burnie VEIP and Six Flags America theme park now offer no-appointment, drive-thru testing. Both sites operate on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8am-12pm.

For more information about testing sites in Maryland, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov and click on the “Testing” tab. 

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