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TIMELINE: COVID-19 Testing in Maryland

To learn more about COVID-19 testing in Maryland and find a testing site near you, click here.

March 3

The State Public Health Laboratory is approved to conduct COVID-19 testing.

The Maryland State Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore is approved to conduct COVID-19 testing, a process which had previously been limited to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labs in Atlanta, Georgia. 

March 6

Governor Hogan directs insurance companies to waive testing costs.

The directive removes all cost barriers to testing, ensuring all Marylanders have the ability to get tested if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms and were exposed to the virus.    

March 17

VEIP sites begin conversion to drive-thru testing centers.

The Maryland Department of Transportation begins to shut down Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program centers across the state, and steps are taken to turn them into drive-thru testing centers. 

March 30

COVID-19 testing begins at first three VEIP drive-thru sites.

The Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Transportation, the State Highway Administration, the Maryland State Police, and local partners begin offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at three Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) stations in Glen Burnie, Waldorf, and Bel Air.

April 10

Governor Hogan announces testing partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The State of Maryland invests $2.5 million in a joint partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine to provide the technology to launch a large-scale COVID-19 testing initiative.

April 15

Governor Hogan announces 40,000 additional tests and agreement with Abbott Labs.

The state secures an additional 40,000 tests, including 30,000 that utilize Abbott m2000 testing machines, and enters into a separate agreement with Abbott Labs to acquire a substantial number of antibody tests. Governor Hogan announces that Maryland has expanded testing capacity by more than 5,000% in the past month.

April 20

Governor Hogan announces the acquisition of LabGenomics test kits from South Korea.

In coordination with the South Korean government and the Korean Embassy in Washington, D.C., the State of Maryland announces it is acquiring COVID-19 tests from LabGenomics.

April 27

New VEIP sites open at Owings Mills and Prince Frederick.

Additional sites in Owings Mills and Prince Frederick bring Maryland’s total to seven VEIP testing sites open statewide.

April 29

Governor Hogan announces new and expanded testing strategy.

Focused on high-priority outbreaks and clusters, this advanced testing strategy includes universal testing of all nursing home residents and staff.

May 1

Governor Hogan announces testing efforts on Eastern Shore in response to poultry industry-related outbreaks.

In response to the Delmarva poultry plant COVID-19 outbreaks, Governor Hogan announces that a CDC field team is working closely with state and local health officials on a comprehensive public health plan for the Eastern Shore poultry industry. The state launched a new testing site at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury..Read More

May 17

New testing site opens at Carroll County Agriculture Center.

The Agriculture Center site in Westminster becomes the first state-sponsored, community-based testing site in Carroll County, increasing the testing options available to area residents.

May 18

Maryland surpasses 200,000 COVID-19 tests conducted.

Governor Hogan announces the state has reached a critical milestone in its long-term COVID-19 testing strategy, surpassing 200,000 tests and completing testing of 3.5 percent of the state’s population, and now has the capacity and supplies to offer testing to asymptomatic Marylanders. 

May 19

Governor Hogan announces broadened criteria for testing, enables pharmacists to administer tests.

The governor issues an emergency order authorizing the state’s hundreds of licensed pharmacists to directly order and administer COVID-19 tests, making testing more widely available to communities across the state.

May 20

Governor Hogan announces universal testing for correctional and juvenile facilities.

Governor Hogan directs the Maryland Department of Health to work with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the Department of Juvenile Services to conduct universal COVID-19 testing for their populations, including all staff.

May 21

Governor Hogan and CVS Health announce 17 new drive-thru COVID-19 test sites.

Once fully operational, more than half of the company’s 1,000 test sites will serve communities with the greatest need for support as measured by the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index.

May 22

Governor Hogan and Walmart announce new COVID-19 testing sites.

By forging new partnerships with private sector companies like Walmart, the State of Maryland continues to make significant progress on its long-term testing strategy. Testing sites open in Dorchester County, Frederick County, and Wicomico County. 

May 27

Maryland exceeds 300,000 tests, meets goal of conducting 10,000 tests daily.

Maryland reaches the goal of conducting 10,000 tests in a day, and has completed more than 300,000 COVID-19 tests statewide. With the state’s expanded testing and tracing capacity, Maryland now has the ability to take a closer and more accurate look at positivity rates.

May 29

Major COVID-19 testing site opens at Six Flags America, tests 1,686 Marylanders.

The Maryland Department of Health begins providing COVID-19 testing at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro at no out-of-pocket cost and without requiring appointments or doctor’s orders. The state conducts 1,686 COVID-19 tests at Six Flags America on its first day of operation—a record high for the state’s community-based sites.

June 1

Maryland announces doubling of testing output during May.

Maryland achieves its short-term goal of 10,000 tests per day before June 1, and conducts 228,305 COVID-19 tests in May, more than double its output in the month of April, with an overall total of 357,545 tests now conducted statewide.

June 3

New University of Maryland School of Medicine lab is fully operational for COVID-19 testing.

As part of the state’s long-term testing strategy, the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences clinical lab is fully operational and begins to process COVID-19 tests, including the tests the state acquired from South Korea. 

June 5

Maryland surpasses more than 400,000 COVID-19 tests.

Maryland surpasses the milestone of 400,000 COVID-19 tests. Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate drops to 8.4% as total current hospitalizations fall to their lowest level since April 13.

June 15

Maryland surpasses more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests.

Maryland exceeds half a million COVID-19 tests as the state’s seven-day average positivity rate drops to 6.55%—down more than 60% since the beginning of Stage One on May 15, and down more than 75% from its peak level on April 17.

June 17

New testing site opens at Baltimore Convention Center.

The Maryland Department of Health begins operating a free COVID-19 testing site at the Baltimore Convention Center, which tests 350 individuals on its first day. 

June 18

State health officials urge county leaders to step up local testing efforts.

Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall and Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips write to county leaders, urging them to step up local COVID-19 testing efforts and meet the goal of testing 10% of their populations.

June 25

Maryland surpasses more than 600,000 COVID-19 tests.

Maryland exceeds 600,000 completed COVID-19 tests as the statewide positivity rate falls to 5.05%.

July 2

State officials direct physicians to order COVID-19 tests for any individual who requests one.

Maryland Department of Health instructs health care providers to order a test for any individual who requests it, regardless of symptoms. As some testing sites continue to require a doctor’s order, the new directive ensures that this requirement may no longer pose an obstacle to Marylanders who wish to be..Read More

July 2

Governor Hogan announces new testing sites in Ocean City and Deep Creek Lake.

COVID-19 testing expands to more than 220 sites in Maryland, including new sites meant to address the increase in summer activity.

July 21

Maryland surpasses 1 million COVID-19 tests completed.

Maryland reports a 4.49% positivity rate and 80,172 total confirmed cases.

July 24

Maryland reports a record 34,874 COVID-19 tests within 24 hours.

The state’s testing capacity has increased 78% in the past month.

July 30

Governor Hogan announces new testing sites at the Ocean City Convention Center and Elkton VEIP.

Marylanders now have access to a drive-thru clinic at the Ocean City Convention Center and a new drive-thru VEIP site in Cecil County.