BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City’s first coronavirus testing site is now open in the parking lot of Pimlico Race Course.

The neighborhoods around the course have been heavily affected by the virus, with 64 cases reported in the 21215 zip code. That’s more than any other part of Baltimore.

Some area residents said it was a good idea to build the site at Pimlico.

“We get sick just like everybody else, you know what I mean? And we need it just like everybody else,” Edward Holden, of Park Heights, said.

The Baltimore City Health Department and Office of Emergency Management will operate the site with the help of the Maryland National Guard, LifeBridge Health and other partners.

But, as Amanda Shrout with Sinai Hospital explained, you’ll need to get screened before coming to get tested.

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“Our patients are able to call 211 and they are put through a screening process,” Shrout said. “Then if they’re deemed appropriate to have COVID-19 testing, they are given an appointment.”

Patients will come in off the Belvedere Avenue entrance and be met by the National Guard who will then confirm the appointment.

They’ll remain in their car the whole time, except when being swabbed, and will then get the results back in four to five days.

Lifelong resident David Hollins said that regardless of what’s happening in the neighborhood, he‘s just glad to see a site created in the city.

“It’s the fact that it’s in Baltimore, period,” Hollins said. “And that’s where it’s needed so it doesn’t really matter what side of town it’s on. They’ve got a lot of space here, so that makes sense to me.”

The city tells WJZ that they are continuing to analyze the data and that will drive where their resources will go.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller

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