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News Release, St. Mary’s Health Department
LEONARDTOWN, MD (March 18, 2020) – MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) recognize the challenges in availability of COVID-19 testing affecting our nation and state. However, due to limited resources the drive-thru testing initiative launched by MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and SMCHD can only be provided for St. Mary’s County residents.
We urge out-of-county residents to contact their primary care providers, local health department or nearest healthcare facility (hospital, urgent care, etc.) for testing information and locations. It is not recommended for individuals to travel long distances while sick to seek testing in another community or state.
St. Mary’s County residents who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (including cough, fever, and shortness of breath) should:
- Contact their primary care provider first by phone and make an appointment to be screened. Your primary care provider will evaluate you and determine if you should be tested. If you meet the criteria for testing, your provider will write a prescription for testing.
- If you do not have a primary care provider and are experiencing symptoms, please call the St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Community Hotline at 301-475-4911. The Health Department will have nurses available to discuss your concerns and assist in coordinating testing if you need it.
- If you have trouble breathing or are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or call ahead to the emergency department to be evaluated in person.
People who do not have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or fever should not be tested for COVID-19 – the test may not work and may give false security. Please only consider testing if you have symptoms and think you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
If you have a prescription for testing:
- MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is offering drive-thru testing outside the Outpatient Pavilion near the rear of the hospital. Residents should enter from the Hollywood Road/Doctors Crossing Way entrance, follow COVID-19 signage, and remain in their vehicle. A staff member will come to you for check-in and administer the test.
To be tested for coronavirus, you must present a prescription from a medical provider. If you have a high fever and cough, you may come to the Emergency Department where you will be screened to determine if you meet the criteria for testing.
Please note: Test results are not immediate; results may take up to a week to become available. You will receive a follow-up call from your primary care provider or the Health Department.
In the meantime, anyone with symptoms and concern for COVID-19 should stay at home, avoid close contact with others, and do not use public transportation/ride-share services. Wear a facemask if you have one. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Cover your cough with a tissue. If you need medical attention call ahead.