Howard County Executive Launches Community Based Mobile Testing
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball launched new community-based mobile testing at five rotating locations throughout Howard County. The mobile testing will be operated by First Call Urgent Care, Monday-Friday from 3:00-7:00 p.m. The mobile testing sites were chosen to remove barriers to access for communities as school buildings reopen. Locations are walkable to surrounding communities and along bus routes. Photos of the event can be found here. Video can be found here.
The mobile testing bus will rotate between the following five locations:
- Monday – Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Ct, Columbia, MD 21045
- Tuesday – North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
- Wednesday – Normandy Shopping Center, 8480 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043 [beginning April 7th]
- Thursday – Recreation and Parks Headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Rd, Columbia, MD 21046
- Friday – The Elkridge 50+ Center, 6540 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, MD 21075
“Testing that is accessible, reliable, and widely available helps us to prevent outbreaks and slow the spread of the virus,” said Ball. “Especially as students and educators head back to school buildings, it’s vital our community has the tools in place to stop outbreaks before they occur. Just as we’ve added mobile vaccination clinics in recent weeks, it is important to have mobile testing in our community. These mobile sites will be more accessible to our community, provide quick test results, and improve our ability to contain COVID-19. This mobile community-based testing is another step in the right direction to put this virus behind us, and I encourage our community to utilize and spread the word about this new initiative. As I’ve said since the beginning, we’re only going to beat this by working together.”
15-minutes rapid testing and 24-hour PCR testing will be available to residents at no cost at each location. The new testing sites are targeted to support residents who are more vulnerable or need better access to COVID-19 testing.
“The last 12 months have been the most challenging in our 70-year history,” Brad Eyre, Business Manager, Eyre Bus, Tour & Travel. “The majority of our fleet has been parked for over a year. We are honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with First Call and put our equipment to use to help our community manage this health care crisis.”
“We are ecstatic to expand our practice and better serve the community in Howard County and beyond,” said Dr. Steve Geller, Medical Director of First Call Urgent Care. “Our region needs better access to testing during these times, and healthcare and community health are of the utmost importance. We are so proud of our staff, providers and doctors who have gone above and beyond over the last year.”
“HCEA is excited to work collaboratively with Dr. Ball and HCPSS to ensure our families have access to COVID testing,” said Colleen Morris, President of the Howard County Educator’s Association (HCEA). “This expanded, equitable access will help limit community transmission in our schools and allow our school buildings to safely and sustainably remain open.”