By Sophie Gorman Oriani

As the omicron variant continues to spread rapidly throughout the region, College Park residents have a new option for testing, through a partnership between Express Healthcare and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). 

Data from the state of Maryland shows record-high numbers of tests being performed over the last several weeks. At one popular option, Express Healthcare in College Park, lines of cars waiting for tests often stretched so far down Baltimore Ave that police had to assist by directing traffic. 

Screenshot 2022 01 19 10.42.58 PM
Lines at Express Healthcare on January 14, 2022
Courtesy of Mark Goodson

Monique Leopold, a College Park resident, said her family got in a line of cars at Express Healthcare at 6:45 a.m., over an hour before the office opened on Dec 22nd, and still had to wait for four hours to get tested.

Now, Express Healthcare is partnering with M-NCPPC to provide both rapid antigen and PCR testing at a new location: Wells Ice Rink on Campus Drive.

No appointment is needed for the new drive-thru site, which will operate Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m..

Plans are also underway to increase access to rapid at-home test kits, which are also in high demand.

The Prince George’s County Health Department has also announced plans to distribute 25,000 at-home rapid test kits per week through community centers and libraries around the county. On Jan 12, all the test kits distributed through the libraries were claimed in less than 90 minutes, according to a post on the PGCMLS Facebook page

Moreover, every US household can now register to receive free at-home test kits by mail. Each residential address can place one order for a four pack of test kits. The kits are expected to ship starting in late January.