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Maryland Guard sets stakes at Pimlico COVID-19 testing site

By Spc. Christina Chang | 29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment | April 7, 2020

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BALTIMORE – The Maryland National Guard continues to support local response to COVID-19 by establishing a coronavirus testing site – the first of its size in Baltimore – at Pimlico Race Course.

Construction on the site began April 3, 2020. The facility is to temporarily relieve local medical facilities in carrying out COVID-19 community screenings.

Members of the Maryland Army National Guard’s 1297th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and 1729th Maintenance Company, both based in Havre de Grace, and the 1229th Transportation Company, based in Baltimore, erected deployable rapid assembly shelters and medium tents in the parking lot outside the racecourse.

“Collectively, I’m proud of everybody that’s in the Maryland National Guard,” said Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young, who visited the site. “They came here to help the city of Baltimore by setting up testing sites, to help us with humanitarian efforts, by helping us serve food to our young people and doing all the wonderful things that you do.”

These service members continue to protect their families and serve their communities by providing medical and transportation services and distributing food at the request of civil agencies. As essential employees, they leave their families, civil employment, and daily lives to serve.

“I hope that when [my son] gets older, he understands that what I did was to help the community,” said Spc. Kiarra Faircloth, a member of the 1297th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. “And it wasn’t a selfish act just to be without his mother.”

More than 2,000 Maryland National Guard members are activated to support Maryland’s response to COVID-19.