Baltimore COVID testing site to close this week, cites declining hospitalizations

The State Center Vaccination, Testing and Treatment site in Baltimore, Maryland, is set to close Saturday after over a year of providing free COVID-19 services to residents.

The site opened in November 2021 and offered free vaccinations and boosters, on-site testing services, at-home tests and KN95 masks to all ages.

“This unprecedented public health emergency created a historic partnership that has helped thousands of Marylanders get the COVID services they need, without barriers of any kind,” said Department of Health secretary Dr. Laura Herrera Scott in a statement.

The center has completed more than 40,000 tests and provided more than 12,000 vaccinations since it was established two years ago.

“It is a testament to the amazing work that so many have done here that we are now able to transition COVID services back to local health departments and health systems, knowing that Maryland is in good hands with our medical professionals and local partners statewide,” Scott said.

Hospitalizations due to the virus are down in the state nearly 50% since the beginning of the year, and with the upcoming end of the federal public health emergency in May, MDH has decided to “consolidate” its services to focus on other important health issues.

“Through this collaboration, we have been able to test, vaccinate and care for so many members of our community during a time when it was most needed,” said Dr. Mindy Kantsiper, the deputy director of the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital COVID Task Force.

“Our motto has been ‘One Team. One Fight,’ and we know that our work will be remembered as part of Maryland’s response to the pandemic.”

Residents who are still seeking vaccines and testing locations can find the over 300 statewide locations on the department’s website.

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is a freelance digital writer/editor at WTOP. She is a recent graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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