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About 150 people are being tested daily for coronavirus at Upper Chesapeake Health’s site in Aberdeen

People patiently wait outside the Aberdeen COVID testing site Wednesday morning. Appointments are required to be tested at the facility which is located on the grounds of the new Upper Chesapeake Medical Center Aberdeen Campus on Rt. 22.
People patiently wait outside the Aberdeen COVID testing site Wednesday morning. Appointments are required to be tested at the facility which is located on the grounds of the new Upper Chesapeake Medical Center Aberdeen Campus on Rt. 22. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

About 50 more people are being tested each day at the Aberdeen COVID-19 testing site in recent weeks since cases began spiking in Harford County and statewide, according to medical officials.

Roughly 140 to 150 people are being tested daily, according to Vickie Ensor Bands, the director of Community Outreach and Health Improvement for University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. That’s up from about 90 to 100 daily tests when the site first opened.

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Upper Chesapeake began indoor coronavirus testing Oct. 1 at the Aberdeen site, located in a temporary outbuilding on the campus of UCH’s future freestanding medical facility off Route 22, near the Target store in Aberdeen.

Bands said staff is looking at wait times for appointments as the volume of people seeking to be tested has grown.

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“We were able to accommodate same day appointments up until last week,” she said. “Now it may be a day or two wait for an appointment.”

Doctor’s orders aren’t needed to be tested, but appointments are required.

The Aberdeen testing site is currently open Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until noon, Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

Bands said UCH was “actively working on being able to expand the current operation to better accommodate our community’s needs,” noting the addition of evening hours since testing moved from the Forest Hill VEIP site to Aberdeen, but did not offer specifics about whether that might include expanded hours.

There is no consideration of a second testing location, she said.

“We are looking at process too and how we can more efficiently accommodate people who need a COVID test before they have a procedure at either of our hospitals,” Bands said. “It’s a continuous performance improvement process.”

The Harford County Health Department is a partner with UCH operating the Aberdeen site, spokesperson Molly Mraz said, but unlike some other Maryland counties, the health department is not offering COVID testing at its buildings.

“The Aberdeen testing center is prepared for the number of increases in cases and pharmacies and doctor’s offices are still offering this service as well,” Mraz said. “So there are many places to get tested.”

Other testing sites are listed on the Harford Health Department’s website, including various urgent care centers around the county and CVS drive-thru testing at pharmacies in Edgewood, Fallston and Havre de Grace. Health officials note that patients should call to ahead to ensure availability of tests and whether an appointment is necessary.

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