Governor Larry Hogan – Official website of the Governor of Maryland


State continues preparations for convergence of Delta and Omicron variants
State health officials ask hospitals to update emergency capacity plans, maximize use of regional hospitals and alternative care sites
Hospitals urged to establish community-based monoclonal antibody infusion programs

ANNAPOLIS, MDAs the state surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations today, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a series of actions to ensure hospitals are prepared for current and future outbreaks due to the convergence of influenza and Delta and Omicron variants.

“Maryland has started to see a slight increase in our key health indicators, and we are increasingly concerned about the sharp increase in hospitalizations, which have doubled in the past three weeks,” Governor Hogan said. “State health officials are taking these additional steps as we continue to use every tool at our disposal to help Maryland hospitals have the resources they need to respond to this increase and future hospital surges.” . “

Improved statewide preparedness for the outbreak of COVID-19 and Omicron variants includes the following:

Hospitals responsible for updating emergency plans, maximizing use of regional hospitals and alternative care sites. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is asking hospitals to update their existing emergency plans by December 15 and take immediate action to maximize hospital bed capacity.

Actions:

  • Implement practices to balance patient admissions and “level the load” of the number of COVID-19 hospital patients versus the number of non-COVID-19 hospital patients;
  • Maximize the available capacity in medico-surgical beds and intensive care personnel; and
  • Balance patient capacity by maximizing the use of all regional hospitals and alternative care sites;

Read the MDH command here.

State health officials have also called on hospitals to establish community-based monoclonal antibody (mAb) infusion programs, including the ability to do home infusions. These activities will be funded by the Health Services Cost Review Board grants announced earlier this year. Downstream mAbs infusions into the community can prevent Marylanders from ending up in hospital and are in the best interest of hospitals to make these programs successful.

Providers are strongly encouraged to offer monoclonal antibody infusions to COVID-positive patients. More information about this treatment is available at covidlink.maryland.gov.

Improve the health workforce. State health officials are urging the Maryland Board of Physicians, the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, and the Maryland Board of Nursing to take action to:

  • Authorize the temporary license to practice recently retired license holders; and
  • Simplify or eliminate administrative burdens for interstate or out-of-state health practitioners who wish to practice in Maryland.

Read MDH’s letter here.

In addition, the governor announced that emergency legislation will be introduced next month to provide hospital systems with more tools to help deal with staff shortages.

This is in addition to the proactive measures announced by the governor in September to increase the state’s nursing workforce.

Extension of COVID-19 booster injections to 16 and 17 year olds. With data showing decreased immunity to COVID-19 after six months, and following yesterday’s FDA and CDC approvals, all Marylanders between the ages of 16 and 17 are being urged to receive a Pfizer recall for a additional virus protection. Maryland has also expanded the already eligible group of Marylanders 18 and older to receive any COVID-19 vaccine licensed or approved as a booster dose.

It is strongly recommended that all eligible Marylanders get their flu shot as soon as possible. Influenza vaccines can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine.

To find a clinic, visit covidvax.maryland.gov or call the state’s multilingual call center, available seven days a week, at 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).

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