Here is a topic I hope to write about over and over again…the number of tests administered in Howard County (7 day rolling average of daily tests administered) has reached an all time high here in Howard County. Per the Howard County Health Department COVID-19 Dashboard on July 10th (reporting data from July 9th) the 7 day rolling average of daily tests administered is now 743. That number represents the highest number ever reported on the dashboard.

Now as great as that is…Howard County still has work to do with daily testing to reach the “Goals of HoCo Rise“…a testing goal of 6,500 tests per week (or 928 tests per day).

Testing has become easier in Howard County:

Drive thru testing now available at the Columbia VEIP Station without a doctors order (READ HERE). You still need an appointment but now you can go online and make it yourself. The Columbia VEIP station is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Drive through testing is now available at the Savage Volunteer Fire Department without an appointment (READ HERE). Testing at this location is open from Monday – Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm. The site will have scheduled appointments available, but they are not required.

There are some questions and confusion about the testing times at the Savage Fire Station on Saturday. I am still unclear if the time is 8:00am to 6:00pm or 8:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday. I am awaiting a response from the Howard County Health Department to know for sure.

I personally went through the testing process at the new drive through testing facility at the Savage Fire Station….if interested in what that process is like…read this:  My COVID-19 testing experience in Howard County at the new drive through location on July 7th

Now as of this morning it is day four since I took my test…no email and no phone call as of this post. My kid took her test at CVS here in Howard County on July 6th…she does not have her results back either as of this morning. So the concerns about getting test results back quickly are real: there was this recent article on that topic:  https://www.fox5dc.com/news/growing-concerns-about-covid-19-testing-delays-nationwide

Howard County Government recently put out this chart relating to testing in a recent press release:

You can view the information on each site here:  https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/MM-Alerts-and-Recalls/Coronavirus-Testing. There has even been updates to the testing locations since this chart was released on July 9th.

The disappointing part of this chart (to me) is that there is not a column related to cost. Now we know there is no cost for some locations…but I am still unclear if there is no cost for the public getting tested at ALL locations in Howard County.

Here is information about the no cost locations listed on the Howard County Health Department website:

Savage Fire Department location (Quality First Urgent Care Drive-thru) notes: Insurance accepted. No insurance ok. FREE

First Call Urgent Care Center/Centennial Medical Group location in Laurel notes: Insurance company is billed. If no insurance, public health is billed. Patient receives NO BILL!

Now none of these sites may charge you directly (they may all charge your insurance or charge the state or feds for the test)…or maybe they will…but I think it should be clear on the Howard County Health Department website if these sites do or do not charge you for a test. I do not think that is asking to much of our local officials and government departments to make that clear on their website about testing. If the goal is to offer and get people tested this seems like an easy thing to do and a way to make more people want to get tested at a local location (my opinion).

I hope to write more articles about the number of daily tests rising in the near future. It is great that our county is doing so much to ensure that those concerned can be tested.

I do plan on writing about my test results when they come in…hopefully I am able to write that article sooner rather than later.

Scott E