Pimlico COVID-19 testing site closes in Baltimore

Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun
·2 min read

The COVID-19 testing site at Pimlico Race Course in North Baltimore has shut down, and city officials who announced the closure Thursday are pointing residents to look a state online database to find another nearby site.

The Pimlico site has taken 12,000 samples from residents since early April under a partnership with neighboring Sinai Hospital, operated by LifeBridge Health.

“This site proved vital throughout the early phases of the pandemic by providing critical access to testing for our residents,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, in a statement.

The closure comes as cases in Maryland are on the rise, with 962 new cases reported Thursday. More than 143,000 cases have been reported in total, with 17,774 cases in Baltimore, the fourth highest number in the state.

Young and Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, city health commissioner, said the city was transitioning testing operations for winter but did not announce any new testing sites. They pointed residents to a state website, an incomplete list of sites that includes the Baltimore Convention Center downtown and urgent care centers, hospitals, pharmacies and a church around the city.

Some doctor’s offices and urgent care centers also are offering rapid, or antigen, tests for some people.

Officials said they evaluating ways to increase community-based testing.

“When testing began at Pimlico, we were seeing an average of just over 300 COVID-19 tests in the city per day — the availability of testing at Pimlico helped us begin scaling community-based testing to meet demand,” Dzirasa said in a statement. “Today, we are seeing an average of more than 3,700 tests per day, with a wide variety of partners providing testing, a testament to the work of the health department and all of the city’s health care partners in finding innovative ways to provide testing.”

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