MDH partners with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on two-week mobile pilot program to enhance testing engagement in underserved communities
Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today begins a free COVID-19 testing mobile pilot program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enhance testing engagement in underserved communities. The two-week pilot will be conducted as part of the federal government’s Increasing Community Access to Testing Program in Hagerstown and Salisbury, and used by HHS, CDC and MDH to inform statewide and national COVID-19 testing strategies.
“Testing remains critical to stopping the spread of the virus as we continue to vaccinate more Marylanders,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “HHS and CDC chose us as a national partner because of our success in testing, and we are proud to forge federal alliances that enhance opportunities to bring testing to communities across Maryland.”
The pilot will run for two weeks in the parking lot outside Walmart Superstores in Hagerstown and Salisbury. The sites will be open April 29-May 2 and May 6-9, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Each location will have the capacity to test more than 300 people per day using BinaxNOW rapid antigen point of care tests and results will be provided onsite. People who receive a positive rapid test result will also receive a confirmatory PCR test onsite, processed by laboratory providers eTrueNorth.
“As vaccinations increase, we want people who are increasing their activity outside of home to be able to conveniently get a test while they’re out and about,” Jon Weinstein, director of the Maryland COVID-19 Testing Task Force. “This pilot is a critical element to inform how we’re evolving Maryland’s testing strategy by including mobile operations to support returning to the activities we’ve missed for over a year.”
“Testing remains an important tool in getting over the pandemic. To achieve this goal, getting tested or vaccinated needs to be as easy as an afternoon trip to the grocery store,” said Henry Walke, Incident manager for CDC’s COVID-19 Response. “Getting tested for COVID-19 can help stop the spread and provide early treatment if needed for those who test positive. This project will help us to bring needed services to the community.”
To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, visit covidtest.maryland.gov.
For more information about COVID-19 in Maryland visit covidLINK.maryland.gov.
For the most recent Maryland COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.
MEDIA ADVISORY: There will be an opportunity for the media to visit each site and interview Jon Weinstein, director of the Maryland Testing Task Force, in the first week of the testing pilot. Please note that no photographs or interviews with those who are testing or conducting tests will be allowed.
Thursday, April 29, Salisbury – 12noon
2702 N Salisbury Blvd
Salisbury, MD 21801
Friday, April 30, Hagerstown – 1pm
10420 Walmart Drive
Hagerstown, MD 21740