TOWSON, Md. — It’s a sign of the times.
With COVID cases skyrocketing, you never know what you may get when you call for an ambulance in Baltimore County.
“There are times when a fire engine, a brush truck or another unit may show up to your home or wherever you are where you need medical care,” said Baltimore County Fire Chief Joanne Rund. “Those personnel are also trained in emergency medical services.”
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski says strapped healthcare workers are also coming under fire like one he recently heard about at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
“A staff member was berated when provided a COVID test,” said Olszewski. “A patient was irate that they couldn’t get a test result in 15 minutes and had to wait for a result. So much so that they had to call security.”
With patience wearing thin, the county executive announced next week an additional testing site will be added at the old Sears store in the White Marsh Mall, and the county will expand hours at the three existing sites in Randallstown, Towson and Dundalk.
The county also will begin requiring appointments to get the tests, and it will begin distributing a hundred thousand at-home testing kits.
Olszewski says three out of four people hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated, and he’s calling on those who haven’t to get a shot.
“Stay out of the hospital. Protect yourself and your family, because this isn’t just about you," said Olszewski, “It’s about every single person who needs an ambulance, ever person who needs a hospital bed, every person who has to work to send their child to school.”
The county is also working on a plan to have a single site designated for testing its essential service employees, and there will be an announcement on that program later this week.