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Montgomery County Announces New COVID-19 Testing Sites; Updates Case Counts on Long Term Care Facilities

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Montgomery County health officials today announced two additional COVID-19 testing sites in Wheaton and Germantown. Testing began today at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center and will begin on Monday, April 27 at the Upcounty Regional Services Center in Germantown. More than 20 residents who are symptomatic and at high risk for complications from the disease were tested at the Wheaton site today. Testing is by appointment only.

“We continue to expand testing capability for Montgomery County residents,” said County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles. “This drive-thru site will further our goal of providing access to needed testing.”

Staff from the County’s Department of Health and Human Services, including school nurses and dentists, participated in the testing. The County’s Departments of General Services and Police provided logistical support. To qualify for testing at any of the State or County testing sites, individuals must:

  • Meet testing criteria as determined by a licensed health care provider. The provider will complete an online order for testing through Maryland’s Chesapeake Regional Information System (CRISP).
  • Once an order is placed, an individual will be given instructions on how to make an appointment online.
  • Appointments will be confirmed, and an ID number will be provided.
  • Those arriving at the testing site will be asked to confirm their appointment number and provide a photo ID.

At the testing site, individuals remained in their vehicles with the windows rolled up until it was time to receive their test. Testing requires a clinician to insert a single long cotton swab into the back of a person’s nostril for several seconds. Most people experience minor discomfort, at the most. More information about testing is available on the County’s COVID-19 website.

As of this week, action teams are in place to provide additional support to more than 200 group homes serving individuals with developmental disabilities. “We are working with State officials and the community organizations who provide services through the Developmental Disabilities Administration,” Gayles said. “Similar to the focus on long term care facilities, we want to provide support to group homes as they serve individuals who often have underlying health conditions.” The action teams are comprised of staff from DHHS’ Aging & Disability Services, who work closely with providers to ensure they have personal protective equipment as needed and provide guidance on best practices for infection control procedures and other COVID-19 related issues. Action teams work closely with staff from the County’s Disease Control program to identify confirmed cases among residents and provide staff with the necessary tools to continue care for them, while also meeting the needs of other residents. 

There are more than 400 cases of COVID-19 among long term care facility residents in Montgomery County. Action teams comprised of public health nurses continue to work closely with the Maryland Department of Health to support COVID-19 preparedness and response capacity in more than 300 long term care facilities for seniors in the County. This includes the distribution of personal protective equipment and daily check-in with facility staff. Long term care facilities for older adults include nursing homes, assisted living facilities and large group homes.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

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Media Contact:  Julie Parker, Julie.parker@montgomerycountymd.gov

Mary Anderson, mary.anderson@montgomerycountymd.gov

 

Release ID: 20-206
Media Contact: Julie Parker 240-777-6507