BCCFH (BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER FIELD HOSPITAL) COVID TASK FORCE
In March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic started, the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital COVID Task Force was established to operate a contingency hospital meant to care for COVID inpatients. By April, the hospital was opened, and the first patient was admitted on April 27 to what is likely the longest continually operating COVID contingency hospital in the country.
The BCCFH served 1,495 patients from March 2020 to June 2021, and over the 14 months the hospital operated, 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. Senior leaders from those three institutions planned operations of the hospital from scratch, without any precedent to fall back on.
Accomplishments from the BCCFH have since been recorded and highlighted in medical literature, as well as praised by former U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams when he toured the facility in August 2020.
The BCCFH has also been a huge provider of PCR testing, completing 133,000 tests to date. When rapid testing was introduced, the BCCFH team became concerned about the predictive value of the tests and so completed the largest known comparison study of rapid antigen tests to PCR tests. The published study evaluates the accuracy of rapid tests and suggests effective ways to implement use.
Though the field hospital has since shut down, the BCCFH Task Force continues to operate today after moving its headquarters from the Baltimore Convention Center to State Center, offering mass PCR and rapid antigen testing, as well as monoclonal antibody treatments at another of its four statewide sites. It is also one of the first facilities in Maryland offering test-to-treat protocols, offering both COVID testing and oral therapies for eligible patients with COVID.