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Gov. Larry Hogan took the podium at the University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center Thursday to announce additional COVID-19 testing protocols. The Governor’s remarks revealed the state’s focus on alleviating the strain of the pandemic on our hospital systems by opening 20 new sites and ordering more PCR tests for the state.

“After declaring a 30-day state of emergency earlier this week, we mobilized 1,000 members of the Maryland National Guard to assist state and local health officials with the state’s emergency pandemic response and to provide operational support to help open and operate these testing sites. In addition to Laurel Medical Center, today, I’m announcing that by the end of next week, we will be opening 10 hospital-based testing sites. All of these sites will be available for walk-ups [and drive thru] 7 days a week, with no appointment necessary,” said the Governor.

He continued, “one of the primary goals of this effort is to ease the burden on hospitals and emergency rooms. We’re already getting great, encouraging reports that emergency room traffic has dropped dramatically as a result.” Here are ten hospital-based testing sites that are scheduled to be fully operational by next week:

  • UM Laurel Medical Center in Laurel, Prince George’s County
  • UM Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata, Charles County
  • UM Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, Prince George’s County
  • Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, Prince George’s County
  • Meritus Health, Hagerstown, Washington County
  • Frederick Health, Frederick, Frederick County
  • Johns Hopkins, Baltimore City
  • University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore City
  • MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Leonardtown, St. Mary’s County
  • Northwest Hospital, Baltimore County

Where are the feds?

It appears that the federal government has been a bit distant in providing the states with aid as Hogan addressed. “I continue to urge federal officials to address the serious national shortage of rapid testing. We have had little update from them, but it appears that it’ll still be several weeks before the federal government will be able to begin distributing anymore rapid tests,” he affirmed.

See the press conference in full below: