BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and city officials announced Thursday that they are opening mobile coronavirus testing sites.
“This partnership will help us increase testing availability for our residents across the city and reduce barriers we know they have experienced,” Young said.
Young reminded residents that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over in Baltimore.
Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa announced there are several zip codes with a 20% positivity rate.
“These new sites will be deployed specifically to areas that are hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to decrease the positivity rate in those communities and provide direct services and information to those who need it most,” Dzirasa said. “Our goal with these new mobile testing sites is to make it easier for residents without access to a car to find safe, reliable.”
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The sites, which are in partnership with Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Maryland Medical Center and BUILD, will open next week.
“Our local COVID-19 case data, similar to findings and other jurisdictions around the country, indicate that our African American and Latinx populations are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic,” Dzirasa added. “Our country’s history of racism, the community’s medical mistress, and a combination of societal as well as environmental factors — collectively known as the social determinants of health — all play a role in the disparities we are seeing in case numbers.”
“We know that our black and brown communities are less likely to have jobs that allow them to telework, more likely to have jobs that are considered essential and less likely to be able to safely isolate at home, due to crowded, blended or multi-generational households,” she added.
For now, officials said residents should take advantage of the testing locations at Mondawmin Mall, Pimlico, the Baltimore Convention Center and the Iglesia de la Resurrección at 2900 East Fayette Street.