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Build Baltimore on the lack of COVID-19 tests in Baltimore City

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 20:11:35-04

BALTIMORE — Right now, there are nearly 57,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state.

The state's positivity rate is below 8.5 percent, but that's not the case in some areas in Baltimore City.

Folks from Build Baltimore say the positivity rate in the 21224 zip code is above 30 percent.

They also say there is a serious lack of COVID-19 test kits in the city and for the third week in row, hundreds of sick people will be turned away at the mobile testing site at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.

Father Bruce Lewandowski, Build leader and pastor at the church says last week three parishioners he greeted in line were turned away due to lack of tests...a few days later they died.

"We're calling on Governor Hogan to give us more tests," he said. "The governor has said in press conferences as early as this week that anyone in the state of Maryland can get tested. That's not true in the city of Baltimore."

17 parishioners have already died due to COVID-19.

Build wrote a letter to Governor Hogan last Saturday and a second today asking for more tests.

According to a statement from the Governor's office, state officials regularly offer to increase testing allocations to local jurisdictions. Baltimore City currently has at least 1500 tests on hand from the state.

Hogans office also says they're exploring ways the state can partner with build directly to ramp up their testing program.