Howard County General Hospital continues free coronavirus testing at places of worship Saturday at St. John Baptist Church

Howard County General Hospital will offer free COVID-19 testing at places of worship in the county through September.

On July 19, Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal M.I. in Columbia hosted the first in a series of the community test sites, according to Elizabeth Edsall Kromm, vice president of population health and advancement at Howard General. This week’s testing will be at St. John Baptist Church, 9055 Tamar Drive in Columbia, on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.


“We’ve had a nice relationship with [faith-based] organizations for the past couple of years, and we thought that since they are so key in communities to advancing health, we should work with our faith partners to do community testing,” Edsall Kromm said.

Open to adults and children, test results will be available within 24 to 48 hours; that quick turnaround can be attributed to the partnership with John Hopkins Medicine, Edsall Kromm said.


Howard General consulted with religious organizations in the county to see what would work best for their facilities and their calendars, Edsall Kromm said.

“We went to the faith leaders and asked what is the best time to be able to serve as many people as possible, and then we built our testing times based on their recommendation,” she said.

Participants will receive results through Howard General’s online portal, or they will receive a phone call when the test results are complete.

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“This is part of our community benefit. We are the only hospital in Howard County, and we do a lot of work out in the community to help keep people healthy,” Edsall Kromm said. “There’s a lot we can do outside the four walls of the hospital as well as inside with the traditional, clinical care.”

St. John Baptist Church also will offer more testing on Aug. 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, will offer testing July 30 from 8 a.m. to noon, Aug. 29 from 8 a.m. to noon and Sept. 19 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Drive-thru testing

You can now self-schedule an appointment to be tested for the coronavirus at the Columbia Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program station without a doctor’s order. (Note: An appointment is still required to receive testing at this location.) The VEIP testing site is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon. To schedule a test, go to

Due to expanded testing nationwide and resulting delays, patients can expect results to take seven to 10 days. The location where you received your test (or your medical provider) will contact you with your test results.


For more information, email or call 410-720-8788.

Other testing locations in the county include:

  • Quality First Urgent Care drive-thru at Savage Volunteer Fire Company, 8521 Corridor Road, Savage
  • OUCH! Urgent Care, 6020 Meadowridge Center Drive, Suite F, Elkridge
  • Righttime Medical Care Urgent Care, 6334 Cedar Lane, Columbia
  • First Call Urgent Care Center/Centennial Medical Group, 10981 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel
  • All Care Urgent Care, 9396 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City
  • All Care Urgent Care, 6955 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia
  • CVS Pharmacy, 8197 Westside Blvd., Fulton
  • Premier Health Express Urgent Care, 9710 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 200, Columbia
  • Howard County General Hospital, 5755 Cedar Lane, Columbia