April 1, 2021
Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536
Charles Gischlar, Deputy Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-6491
Baltimore Convention Center reaches milestone of 100,000 people tested since June 2020
Site continues to provide free, no-barrier testing along with cutting edge treatment and targeted vaccination services in partnership with UMMS and Johns Hopkins MedicineBaltimore, MD – The Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital (BCCFH), the nation’s longest continually-operating COVID-19 field hospital, last evening surpassed 100,000 patients tested since June 2020. This groundbreaking site provides COVID-19 testing, monoclonal antibody infusion therapy, and vaccinations in a unique collaboration between the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Bill Henry, Baltimore City Comptroller, received his COVID-19 test yesterday at the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, becoming the 100,000th Marylander tested at BCCFH. He is pictured here with Dr. Jim Ficke (left) and Dr. Chuck Callahan (3rd from left), co-directors of BCCFH, and Tina Jackson, the operational lead for Testing and Vaccination.
“Now is not the time to let our guard down against the virus – we need to keep testing, wearing masks, and taking other precautions even as we vaccinate more and more Marylanders,” said MDH Acting Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “The services provided at the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital help us diagnose people with COVID-19, provide treatment where possible, and vaccinate them to stop the spread of the disease.”
In addition to testing up to 1,500 people a day at the height of the winter surge, BCCFH also offers Maryland’s largest center for monoclonal antibody infusion therapy, treating more than 1,600 patients since November. The BCCFH team has worked in partnership since December with Baltimore City Public Schools to assist the school administration in identifying individuals with COVID-19 among the students and staff and in providing a safe environment for the return to in-person education. In January, the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital began offering COVID-19 vaccinations to underserved populations.
“This site is a national model in fighting this pandemic,” said Jon Weinstein, director of Maryland’s Testing Task Force. “By offering continuous COVID-19 testing services for nearly a year, along with easily accessible infusion treatments for symptoms and now vaccinations, we have truly become an essential resource for trusted partners in the community.”
“I am proud to be a part of this group of professionals,” said Dr. Charles Callahan, vice president of Population Health at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and co-director of the BCCFH. “Our motto at the BCCFH is ‘One Team. One Fight.’ The motto is borrowed from the military experience of the site directors, and it reminds the team daily of our shared commitment to end COVID in our communities, city and State.”
The BCCFH began offering testing services at the Baltimore Convention Center last June. The Convention Center is uniquely suited for this operation with its large air volume of more than 800,000 cubic feet and an air handler that can recycle more than 56,000 cubic feet per minute, creating four complete air exchanges every hour. Strict adherence to infection control protocols and use of personal protective equipment has minimized the risk of COVID-19 spread to patients and to staff.
“We celebrate 100,000 tested in order to recognize our committed and tireless staff who have been here rain, snow or shine to serve fellow Marylanders,” said Dr. James Ficke, director of Orthopedic Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and co-director of the BCCFH. “Baltimore has come to trust the BCCFH for compassionate care, fast and reliable COVID testing and vaccinations.”
While over 90 percent of the BCCFH team’s testing operations have been performed at the Convention Center site, the team has also sent out several mobile testing sites to serve the local community at churches, recreation centers and in parking lots near critical civic and community locations.
The BCCFH offers testing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Appointments can be made by visiting umms.org/bccfh, but walk-ins are welcome.
High risk patients who test positive for COVID can learn more about monoclonal infusion treatment at the BCCFH at umms.org/icreferral. This is a one-time infusion treatment that may reduce chances of severe symptoms or hospitalization.
For more information about COVID-19 in Maryland visit covidLINK.maryland.gov.
For the most recent Maryland COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.
The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.
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