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CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County Health Department plans to make COVID-19 testing available for more residents.

The news follows last week’s statement from Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall and Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips to county officials to “step up” testing for the disease and stop stockpiling resources.

The state health department on Tuesday reported 65,007 cases of COVID-19, which included 404 new positive test results and 18 deaths as ACHD on Monday announced a new case of COVID-19, a male in his 20s that has not required hospitalization, which brings the county’s total positive tests to 189.  

“A drive-thru clinic is in development and dates and location will be announced soon,” ACHD Public Information Coordinator Brenda Caldwell said via email.  

Garrett opens testing sites

The Garrett County Health Department will hold drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Northern Middle School, 371 Pride Parkway in Accident, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. 

A second testing opportunity will be held at the Mountain Laurel Medical Center, 1027 Memorial Drive in Oakland, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 17.

“This is not an antibody test that may identify a previous (COVID-19) infection," Garrett health officials stated in a press release.

Testing, via nasopharyngeal swab that may detect a current COVID-19 infection, will be done while people sit in their cars. 

People that test positive for the disease will be called directly, while negative results will be mailed.

GCHD anticipates test results will take three to four days. 

“These clinics are for persons who do not have symptoms,” GCHD said. “Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their doctor to be tested at the hospital outpatient laboratory or other clinical laboratory. Persons that are interested in an antibody test for COVID-19 should also contact their health care provider.”

For more, call 301-334-7770 or 301-895-3111.

Maryland helps with PPE

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland has distributed more than 50 million units of personal protective equipment, including gloves, gowns, surgical masks and face shields, to hospitals, state agencies, local health departments and front line workers.

“One of the biggest challenges Maryland and our nation have faced in battling coronavirus has been ensuring we have a steady supply of PPE for our health care workers, first responders and essential employees,” Hogan said via press release. “Our multi-agency task force continues to make incredible progress on this key building block for recovery. They are working around the clock to ramp up Maryland’s supply of PPE, with large deliveries coming into the state’s warehouses on a regular basis.”

To date, the Maryland Department of Commerce has awarded $3.2 million for PPE production to companies that applied to the fund.

“The state also created the Maryland Manufacturing Network Supplier Portal, an online platform where buyers, such as health care systems, local emergency management agencies, and essential companies, can identify Maryland suppliers that have PPE, health care equipment and other essential items,” the release stated.

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