BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young announced Tuesday that the city is opening another testing site in the city at the Rawlings Conservatory.
The Druid Hill testing site off Beachwood Drive will also be a walk-up testing site, but a doctor’s note will still be required to get tested as well as an appointment through the state’s CRISP system.
This is the second community testing site in the city, and the mayor said a third one is on the way.
The city has seen a 21 percent increase in cases since Friday, Young said.
The press conference was interrupted by a group of protesters that shouted at officials and honked car horns.
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These community sites, allow residents to receive access to COVID-19 closer to home, and will alleviate strain on our hospital systems and clinics that are also operating testing sites,” said Dr. Letita Dzirasa, the city’s health commissioner. “We look forward to announcing additional testing sites in the days and weeks to come. Residents are encouraged to call their physician who can make an appointment.”
Residents without a primary care provider can contact 211 for a coronavirus symptom assessment or to speak with a medical professional.
Officials also mentioned the expansion of the city’s food distribution to provide a total of 2.5 million meals, 70,000 grocery boxes and up to 12,000 household grocery supplements over the next two months.
WJZ also heard from Henry Raymond, the city’s chief financial officer, on Tuesday. He said there is a current year-end shortfall of about $42 million. The pandemic has resulted in a significant economic downturn for many businesses, and he said he doesn’t expect to recover this funding in the short term.
“What we don’t want to do is use the city’s budget stabilization reserve, commonly known as the rainy-day fund, to fund these activities that can and should be funded through other federal sources,” Raymond said.
But the city has applied for funding through the federal CARES Act, which should be distributed this week.
Raymond also said the city is trying to avoid layoffs and they’re now talking to the local unions about how exactly they can do that.