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OAKLAND — The Garrett County Health Department will hold a free testing event Friday as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the area.

Health officials reported 42 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, which raised the county total to 399.

The testing event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot between the health department and the Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a test, and appointments and doctors’ orders are not required. Officials cautioned that waits could be long, depending on how many people turn out.

The latest cases include two females age 10-19; two men and six women in their 20s; three men and four women in their 30s; five men and four women in their 40s; five men and two women in their 50s; three men and three women in their 60s; two men in their 70s; and one woman in her 90s.

Health services prepared

Garrett County government said Wednesday local and regional health care providers are prepared to handle the recent rise in coronavirus cases.

Garrett County Emergency Services, the county health department and other local health care organizations have been working to collaborate and organize response efforts.

There were three hospitalized cases of COVID-19 in the county Wednesday, officials said, and Garrett Regional Medical Center was operating as normal with no capacity issues.

“We greatly appreciate the help the governor has given us to combat COVID-19. Right now, a statewide issue is the need for additional testing services and the need for additional staff due to quarantine protocols,” said Paul Edwards, chair of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners. “Garrett Regional Medical Center is confident that they will continue to meet the needs of the community even as positive cases may escalate in Garrett County.”

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