The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will hand out more than 14,000 free at-home COVID tests during the inauguration of Gov.-elect Wes Moore and Lt. Gov.-elect Aruna Miller to encourage Marylanders attending the event to stay COVIDReady through the winter.
“Our Annapolis test site is an important continuity of government service offering legislators and the general public convenient access to both rapid and PCR testing,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We are taking this opportunity to get at-home tests in the hands of as many Marylanders as possible and emphasizing the importance of being COVIDReady by testing early and treating quickly to avoid severe COVID.”
MDH will also offer free rapid antigen and PCR COVID testing at its Annapolis test site on the corner of Calvert and Bladen Streets from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Tuesday for attendees who want free testing before Wednesday’s event.
The official swearing-in will take place at noon inside the State House, followed by a public ceremony on the northwest side of the State House (facing Lawyer’s Mall). MDH will have a table set up outside the Annapolis test site from morning until the end of the event to provide free at-home COVID tests to anyone who wants them.
The Annapolis test site has administered more than 119,000 COVID tests since they opened in November, 2020. Beginning Jan. 16, the site will be open Mondays from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. to accommodate legislative sessions, offering PCR testing, rapid antigen tests and KN95 masks.
Distributing at-home COVID tests statewide, through local health departments and local community partners, is an important part of COVIDReady principles. Marylanders are urged to stay up-to-date on COVID vaccinations and boosters, keep at-home tests handy to use at the first sign of symptoms, and talk to their provider about treatment or visit a Test to Treat Center if they are sick. Marylanders are also urged to practice good hand hygiene, cover their coughs and sneezes, and stay home if they are sick to avoid spreading not only COVID but other respiratory illnesses this winter.
There are more than 300 testing locations and 89 Test to Treat sites listed statewide on CovidTEST.maryland.gov. For more information on vaccination, boosters, testing and treatment for COVID visit covidLINK.maryland.gov or call the GoVAX Call Center at 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).