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COVID-19 in Maryland Health Care

Department of Health to provide free COVID tests at Wednesday’s inauguration

The Maryland Department of Health operates a COVID testing center at the state capital complex. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

As well-wishers gather in Annapolis on Wednesday for the inauguration of Gov.-elect Wes Moore and Lt. Gov.-elect Aruna Miller, the Maryland Department of Health will have more than 14,000 at-home COVID-19 tests on hand “to encourage Marylanders attending the event to stay COVIDReady through the winter,” the department said Friday.

The historic inauguration of Moore, soon-to-be Maryland’s first Black governor, and Miller, who will be the first woman of color as lieutenant governor, will occur at the State House on Wednesday.

Maryland Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader emphasized the importance of the capitol’s COVID testing site, calling it “an essential continuity of government service offering legislators and the general public convenient access to both rapid and PCR testing.”

“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,” he added.

Pre-inauguration testing will be available Tuesday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Department of Health tent at the corner of Calvert and Bladen streets.

The department will hand out the at-home test kits on Wednesday at tables outside the test site.

Beginning Wednesday, the test site will be open Mondays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. to accommodate lawmakers. In addition to PCR and rapid antigen testing, the site also offers KN95 masks.