xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland has ample COVID-19 testing capacity | READER COMMENTARY

People patiently wait outside the Aberdeen COVID-19 testing site earlier this month. 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 Route 22.
People patiently wait outside the Aberdeen COVID-19 testing site earlier this month. 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 Route 22. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

The Baltimore Sun recently published a letter to the editor about apparent delays in getting a COVID-19 test in Harford County and elsewhere in Maryland (”Delays in COVID-19 testing have gotten ‘outrageous,’” Nov. 20). The state’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force takes seriously the matter of patient experience at testing sites and we would like to remind Marylanders that COVID-19 testing has never been more available in our state than it is today.

In recent weeks, community-based testing sites operated by the Maryland Department of Health and its local partners have increased operating hours, winterized outdoor facilities and added staff to accommodate growing demand for safe, comfortable testing. To cite just one example, the free testing site in Aberdeen operated by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health and the Harford County Health Department will expand its operations to five days a week beginning on November 30. This testing site has served hundreds of patients each week for months, and with its coming expansion, it will be able to handle up to 1,000 people a week.

Advertisement

We also welcome the privately operated sites that provide a large number of testing options across the state. Major pharmacy chains, doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics and other private partners play a critical role in creating COVID-19 testing availability for their patients. On Nov. 20, 51,186 tests were given in Maryland. The next day saw another 49,906 tests. In fact, between Oct. 22 and Nov. 22, Maryland sites provided over 1 million tests in total. Clearly, our state has ample testing capacity.

Testing is one of the most important tools that we have to fight COVID-19, and there are over 230 COVID-19 testing sites in operation across Maryland. Please visit COVIDtest.Maryland.gov to find a site near you. All Marylanders who need tests are welcome.

Advertisement

Jonathan Weinstein, Baltimore

The writer serves as lead for the COVID-19 Testing Task Force in the Maryland Department of Health.

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement