BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new, walk-up coronavirus testing site Is now open in downtown Baltimore at the Convention Center.

This is a free testing site and officials are asking anyone that has been in a large group of people like the recent peaceful protest, or anyone that may have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, come get tested.

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CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Gary Stokes mother was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Being as though I was in contact with her, I felt as though I was supposed to come down here and get tested,” Stokes said.

He said he’s feeling fine and isn’t showing symptoms, but came to the new testing site so he didn’t unknowingly pass it on to someone else.

Hundreds of people came to the free, walk-up site that will be operating every Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“We encourage people to come out and get tested here,” Jinlene Chan, Assistant Secretary for the Maryland Department of Health, said.

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While the recent protests didn’t play a specific role in the new test site, the location is ideal for city residents who may have participated in the demonstrations.

“We certainly encourage people who may have been a part of the peaceful demonstrations in Baltimore and around the state to come and get tested because they’ve been in a large group gathering,” Chan said.

Chan also said testing is vital as Maryland continues with its reopening process.

“There’s more potential of exposed [people] to other people, as people go back to work, people go back to school and other settings, so we encourage people to get tested, even if they’re asymptomatic,” Chan said.

This site is a joint effort made possible by the Maryland Department of Health, local hospitals and the NAACP.

“I think it’s a wonderful effort to make sure people of Baltimore City, of all ethnicities, have access to testing,” Rev. Kobi Little, President of the Baltimore City branch of the NAACP, said.

There are now more than 150 testing sites in Maryland, including several in Baltimore City.

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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.

Sean Streicher