COVID-19 Story Tip: Front-Line Worker Story: Johns Hopkins Medicine Leads Effort to Bring COVID-19 Testing to Hard-Hit Communities

06/30/2020

COVID-19 has affected more than 2.5 million people around the U.S., and some areas have suffered from the disease far worse than others.

Johns Hopkins Medicine is leading an initiative to provide COVID-19 testing to hard-hit areas of Baltimore City that continue to report a significant number of cases. “We are working with the Baltimore City Health Department to identify areas with a significant amount of cases,” says Kathleen Page,M.D. associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who helped organize the testing effort. “Our goal is to test up to 150 people at each of our events to prevent further spread of the illness.”

The team’s first testing event took place on Thursday, June 25, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in East Baltimore, in the 21224 zip code, which was designated as a “hot spot” by the city health department. A total of 85 people were tested during the event. The neighborhood and parish have a largely Latinx population. Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say the Latinx community has seen a spike in cases locally and around the nation.

During the June 25 event, Johns Hopkins clinicians and staff set up a temporary testing site for the event in the church’s parking lot. The testing teams follow up with those tested within 24–48 hours to give them their test results, help them get appropriate care and share other resources.

The team plans to continue testing in Baltimore neighborhoods several days a week, and recommends community members schedule an appointment for testing. They also plan to move to other locations within the city and potentially beyond Baltimore as needed.

The initiative is in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Health, the Baltimore City Health Department and Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD).

Pictures from the recent testing event are available upon request. Johns Hopkins Medicine experts are also available for media interviews on Johns Hopkins’ community testing initiative.


For information from Johns Hopkins Medicine about the coronavirus pandemic, visit hopkinsmedicine.org/coronavirus. For information on the coronavirus from throughout the Johns Hopkins enterprise, including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Johns Hopkins University, visit coronavirus.jhu.edu.