Maryland opening drive-thru virus test sites at 3 locations

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (AP) – Amid an increasing number of coronavirus cases, Maryland announced on Tuesday that it will officially open three drive-thru test sites for symptomatic residents or those at high risk of COVID-19 complications.

As of Wednesday, tests would be offered at three vehicle emission testing sites in Anne Arundel, Charles and Harford counties, Governor Larry Hogan said in a press release. He said the state is not sufficiently equipped to expand testing to those who have no symptoms.

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"Like all other states in the country, we just don't have enough test material," said Hogan. "We need to use our resources wisely."

The state health department has registered three more virus-related deaths since the weekend, bringing the state's total to 18. Health officials have reported at least 1,660 confirmed cases of the virus, 247 of them since Monday. The tests of nearly 15,000 people were negative and 53 patients were released from isolation.

To qualify for the drive-thru test, people will need to meet the test criteria, as determined by a licensed healthcare professional, obtain a test order from a professional, register online and make an appointment.

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that go away in two to three weeks. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia and death.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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