Reopening Baltimore: 5 City Pools, Basketball Courts, Playgrounds Set To Reopen Monday

A number of pools and playgrounds in Baltimore are set to reopen on Monday after the coronavirus pandemic kept them closed for months. Beginning Monday, basketball courts, park playgrounds, exercise equipment and bocce courts citywide will reopen to the public, Baltimore’s parks and recreation department said. People are asked to bring their own wipes because city staff won’t be able to sanitize the equipment daily, the department said. (WJZ-TV)

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Johns Hopkins, city spearheading new mobile Covid-19 testing

City health officials and Johns Hopkins Medicine are spearheading a new effort to provide mobile coronavirus testing in hard-hit areas of Baltimore. The city has been offering coronavirus testing to city residents at sites like the Pimlico Race Course and the Baltimore Convention Center, as part of a public-private partnership that includes Hopkins, University of Maryland Medical Center and the city health department. The health department has also been working to combine data on testing and confirmed cases to identify "hotspots," or areas where there may be particularly large outbreaks, so resources can be direct to those areas to help contain and combat infections. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Maryland’s Prince George’s County is among nation’s wealthiest Black communities, but it leads state in coronavirus cases

For a decade, Stephen B. Thomas has studied racial inequality from a research center at the University of Maryland. It happens to be located in one of the wealthiest Black enclaves in the nation, Prince George’s County. The location wasn’t necessarily relevant to his work — until now. Thomas and his team at the university’s Center for Health Equity are in the midst of a real-time case study asking a disconcerting question: Why has affluent Prince George’s been hit harder by the coronavirus than any other place Maryland? (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore expands access to COVID-19 testing with mobile resources, appointments at Pimlico without a doctor’s referral

As the growth of coronavirus infections in Baltimore slows, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced Thursday an increase of mobile, on-demand COVID-19 testing, including offering swabs at Pimlico Race Course without a doctor’s referral or an appointment. Young said the expansion will help “reduce barriers we know our residents have experienced.” (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore closes Fells Point streets for alfresco dining through late summer due to coronavirus

The city’s plan to close streets for more outdoor dining is becoming a reality, at least in Fells Point. The Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced this week Fells Point traffic closures that will extend through late summer, including Thames Street from the southbound lane of Broadway to the west side of The Pendry, and the northbound lane of S. Broadway between Thames and Lancaster Streets. The closures start Thursday and run through September 7. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland reaches 14 straight days of average coronavirus testing positivity rate beneath 5%

For the first time since state officials began tracking the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, Maryland has reported 14 straight days of a seven-day average testing positivity rate below 5%. The benchmark matches the World Health Organization’s recommendation of such a stretch before governments begin easing virus-related restrictions. Thursday’s reported rate of 4.53% is a steep drop from the state’s peak seven-day average rate of 26.92% on April 17. The rate fell below 20% on May 12 and 10% on June 2. Much of Maryland’s decline in positivity rate coincided with increased testing in the state. The state has reported at least 8,600 test results for 11 straight days. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre cancels fall performances of touring Broadway musicals, will present full season in 2021

The Hippodrome Theatre announced Wednesday that has canceled fall performances because of the coronavirus pandemic, but plans to resume its full season of touring Broadway musicals in January. “The Baltimore arts community along with its residents has been tested in unprecedented ways during this pandemic and has shown its strength and resilience over the last few months,” Ron Legler, president of The Hippodrome Theatre, said in a news release. (Balt Sun)

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Coins in short supply across Baltimore area, nationwide as businesses reopen from coronavirus shutdowns

Stores have stocked back up on chicken, spray cleaner and paper towels, but consumers may notice a new and less expected coronavirus pandemic shortage, one of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. When businesses, organizations and events abruptly shut down as the pandemic arrived in Maryland and elsewhere in March, circulation patterns for U.S. coins were thrown out of whack along with the rest of the economy. (Balt Sun)

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