Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced today a new COVID-19 testing site at Elkridge Fire Station, 5700 Rowanberry Dr, Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Residents should access the site off Bauman Drive. The site will be operated by Centennial Medical Group and offer a drive-thru option in addition to the walk-up mobile bus. For questions regarding the site, please call Centennial Medical at 443-351-7301. Photos of the event can be found here. Video can be found here.
“The latest surge driven by variants has stressed our testing capacity,” said Ball. “These mobile sites are especially valuable because it allows our partners to adapt to the changing landscape of the pandemic and provides more convenience for our residents. As we see waves of cases throughout our community, we can shift testing locations and provide additional support to areas of large outbreaks. Today, we’re expanding mobile community-based testing to Elkridge, which has one of the highest case rates in our county.”
Howard County has collaborated with private partners throughout the pandemic to stand-up additional testing capacity. In July 2020, the County initially launched two drive-thru testing sites at the Elkridge and Savage Fire Stations. Prior to school buildings reopening last year, the Ball Administration partnered with Centennial Medical to launch several mobile testing sites throughout the county. The mobile testing sites are also chosen to remove barriers to access for communities, especially students and families. Locations are walkable to surrounding communities and along bus routes. Earlier this week, County Executive Ball announced a COVID-19 testing site dedicated to more than 15,000 county employees and their families at the Roger Carter Community Center. The site has already tested nearly 750 people.
“As we continue to see a rise in COVID-19 cases in our community due to the spread of the highly-contagious Omicron variant, the need for reliable, easily accessible testing is growing more important,” said Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman. “Increasing access to timely testing is important because it allows residents to identify if they are infected, take proper precautions like isolation, and inform contacts who may be at risk from exposure.”
According to the Maryland Department of Health, Howard County has a 28% positivity rate and 189 cases per 100,000 residents. This is compared to a 3.6% positivity rate and 8 cases per 100k just one month ago. Additionally, 14% of residents remain unvaccinated, including residents 4 and under, and 7% of our residents have only received one dose. Approximately 42% of residents have not yet received a booster shot – which has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of the omicron variant. Since vaccinations for children started in November, more than 40% of 5-11 year olds still need their first dose and 60% have not received their second dose.
“Our partnership with Howard County has been an invaluable tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19 infection throughout the county,” said Centennial Medical Group, Medical Director Dr. Arvind Narasimhan. “It is our goal to continue to lead the charge to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus. We are so humbled to be a part of this effort.”
First Call Urgent Care and Centennial Medical Group currently operate mobile testing at the following locations:
- Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Ct, Columbia, MD 21045
- Monday, 12:00-7:00 p.m.
- North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
- Tuesday, 12:00-7:00 pm
- The Elkridge 50+ Center/Elkridge Liibrary 6540 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, MD 21075
- Friday, 12:00-7:00 pm
- Blandair Bus Loop, 5750 Oakland Mills Road Columbia, MD 21045
- Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Route 40, 10236 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 12:00-7:00 pm
- St John’s Church, 9055 Tamar Dr, Columbia, MD 21045
- Tuesday – Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
To find other testing locations in Howard County, please visit https://www.howardcountymd.gov/covid-19-testing.
“Getting tested for COVID-19 is one of the important tools we need to have readily available in order to combat this virus,” said Fire Chief Louis Winston. “We’re working together with our volunteer partners and members of the community to ensure additional testing access. It’s our hope that the return of the Elkridge fire station test site will help address this variant surge and will keep more people safe.”
“If you have questions about the testing site here at Elkridge Fire Station, please contact Centennial Medical Group at 443-351-7301, and do not call the fire station,” said Volunteer Chief Russel Pryor, Elkridge Fire Department. “Thank you to our community for their patience, we’re happy to help in any way we can.”