TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County announced appointment-free testing at the Maryland State Fairgrounds would start at 11 a.m. Thursday.

But just before the testing site opened, it was already at capacity.

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The line of cars stretched down York Road hours before the testing site at the Maryland State Fairgrounds even opened.

Workers then ushered hundreds of vehicles to a parking lot.

Hundreds of people wait in their cars for coronavirus tests Thursday morning

Within minutes of its official opening, the facility was at its limit: Only the first one thousand people received a coronavirus test.

 

 

“Appointment-free testing at the Maryland State Fairgrounds has reached capacity. We will have new information about additional testing in the near future,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski tweeted.

 

What’s the big draw? This is the first coronavirus testing location in Maryland open to anyone, free of cost and without a doctor’s authorization or any symptoms required to get tested.

“The fact that we were at capacity so quickly speaks to the incredible need out there in the community,” Olszewski said.

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Those tested Thursday will receive their results within 24 to 48 hours.

 

There are no plans yet to open the fairgrounds for a similar testing initiative again. However, state vehicle emission facilities in Glen Burnie and Hyattsville will perform tests to any members of the general public Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as supplies last.

“Testing continues to be an enormous need around the state so we have been working tirelessly for the past two to three months to ensure we have increased lab capacity to get the tests out to Maryland,” Dr. Jinlene Chan, with the Maryland Department of Health, said.

The state is also partnering with CVS for drive-through testing at 17 pharmacies. You will drive up and be given a kit to administer the swab yourself. A pharmacy employee will make sure you are doing it right.

Gov. Hogan, CVS Health Announce 17 New Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Sites In Maryland

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said by next week, the state will have expanded its ability to trace the contacts of people who have tested positive—with more than 1,400 investigators who will be able to track ten thousand contacts every day. That’s five times the original number of contact tracers.

 

Also Thursday, Baltimore County’s Executive announced that retail businesses, barber shops and hair salons will be able to open Friday at 9 a.m.

People must wear masks and no more than 10 customers will be allowed in a store at one time.

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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.