BCCFH (BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER FIELD HOSPITAL) COVID TASK FORCE
In March 2020, just at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital COVID Task Force was formed to operate an emergency hospital to care for inpatient COVID patients. In April, the hospital was opened and the first patient was admitted on April 27 to what is likely the oldest COVID emergency hospital in the country.
The BCCFH served 1,495 patients from March 2020 to June 2021, and during the 14 months of operation of the hospital, there were no deaths. The hospital was born out of a partnership between the University of Maryland Medical System, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Maryland Department of Health. The senior leaders of these three institutions planned the operations of the hospital from scratch, with no precedent to build on.
BCCFH’s accomplishments have since been recorded and highlighted in the medical literature, as well as lauded by former U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams when he visited the facility in August 2020.
BCCFH has also been a huge provider of PCR tests, performing 133,000 tests to date. When rapid tests were introduced, the BCCFH team became concerned about the predictive value of the tests and so carried out the largest known comparative study of rapid antigen tests versus PCR tests. The published study assesses the accuracy of rapid tests and suggests effective ways to implement their use.
Although the field hospital has since closed, the BCCFH task force continues to operate today after moving its headquarters from the Baltimore Convention Center to the State Center, offering mass PCR and rapid antigen testing, as well as treatments by monoclonal antibodies in another of its four states. sites. It is also one of the first facilities in Maryland to offer test-to-treat protocols, offering both COVID testing and oral therapies for eligible patients with COVID.