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Protestors interrupt Young as he announces opening of second COVID-19 testing site

Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 07:26:49-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young announced Tuesday that the City would open its second COVID-19 testing site.

The newest site is open in front of the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park.

An appointment and doctors note are needed to get tested. The city receives approximately 100 tests a week from the state for their sites. They hope to obtain more from the 500,000 new tests received over the weekend from South Korea.

The news came during a press conference held by Young in front of City Hall.

While Young was speaking a protester interrupted on two separate occasions, to make a case for better conditions for the homeless during the pandemic.

At one point several cars lined the street honking their horns with signs plastered on the windows, urging the city to provide temporary housing.

Recently the city moved 160 homeless people over age 62 into hotels, 100 more showing symptoms to a motel, and 155 others into a larger shelter allowing for more social distancing.

Young also spoke on a four point meal distribution plan set to begin throughout the city.

1. Meal distribution: The city will continue daily meals for youth and families and add community sites as needed. It will also scale up meal delivery to older adults with expanded Meals on Wheels and Salvation Army partnerships. The city currently serves 800 older adult meals/mo. It will grow that to 6,400 meals/mo. in May and up to 8-9,000/mo. in June.

2. Food distribution: The city will operationalize a large-scale, centralized food hub for assembly and distribution of grocery boxes purchased from the Maryland Food Bank. Distribution will begin this month with an existing inventory of 10,000 boxes. The goal is to distribute an additional 30,000 boxes/mo. in May and June, making for a total distribution of 70,000 boxes. The city is also partnering with the Fund for Educational Excellence to deploy money donated by 11 local corporations to administer small grants to community organizations to reach children and seniors in high-need neighborhoods.

3. Food retail: The city will work to expand SNAP accessibility and eligibility. For those who typically don’t benefit from government programs—undocumented residents, opportunity youth, returning citizens and individuals experiencing homelessness—the city is launching a grocery supplement for an initial 3-5,000 households, which it will strive to grow to 6-12,000 households by June. Both supplemental grocery benefits maximize resident access and choice.

4. Urban agriculture: Building on its commitment to urban agriculture, the city will round out distribution of shelf-stable food with fresh produce by making small grants available to its 37 urban farms and 95 community gardens.

The entire news conference can be watched below.