Governor Larry Hogan – Official Website of the Governor of Maryland

Thanks to the White House for addressing the disruption of rapid test orders
Providing an additional $5 million in relief to specialty hospitals
Maryland National Guard to Participate in Department of Defense Mission at Takoma Park Alternate Care Site
Will introduce the Healthcare Heroes Act as emergency legislation next week

Annapolis, MD—As the State of Maryland continues to battle the rise of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, Governor Hogan today highlighted encouraging trends among many key health measures and announced additional COVID-19 actions. The governor also provided an update on the state’s efforts to procure additional rapid tests.

“We are very encouraged by the substantial improvement in our situation, but the next 10 days to two weeks are really going to be critical,” Governor Hogan said. “Our aggressive efforts will continue and we ask the people of Maryland to stay vigilant and continue to do the things that can keep us safe: wear a mask, avoid crowds, watch your distance, stay home if you feel sick and , above all, get tested, vaccinated and boosted.

Watch today’s press conference.
See slides from today’s press conference.

Key health metrics are steadily and substantially declining. Fifteen days into the state’s 30-day state of emergency, there are encouraging trends among many key health indicators:

  • COVID-19 cases in Maryland are declining at the second fastest rate in America.
  • Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate is down 40% since peaking 15 days ago.
  • The state’s case rate is down 44% since peaking 12 days ago.
  • The case rate and the positivity rate are decreasing in all age groups.
  • Hospitalizations have fallen for eight consecutive days, due to both a drop in admissions and an increase in discharges.
  • Pediatric hospitalizations continue to represent approximately 1% of all hospitalizations in the state.

New hospital-based testing sites. Governor Hogan announced the opening of additional COVID-19 testing sites:

  • The LifeBridge Health site (Carroll County) is now operational.
  • The Greater Baltimore (Baltimore County) Medical Center site opens tomorrow.
  • A federally supported site at St. Agnes Hospital (City of Baltimore) opens Saturday.

The White House is working with state officials to address the disruption in rapid test orders. Following conversations with senior White House officials, the governor announced that one of the state’s previous orders for 800,000 rapid home tests that had been cut in half would now be fully reinstated. The governor thanked White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients and administration officials for working with the state to correct the problem.

3 million additional masks will be distributed to schools. As the statewide distribution of 20 million N95 and KN95 masks continues, Governor Hogan announced that the state is coordinating with the Maryland State Department of Education to distribute 3 million additional KN95 masks to local schools. Another 250,000 masks were distributed to state justice.

$5 million more to specialty hospitals. Governor Hogan announced $5 million for specialty hospitals receiving COVID-positive patients discharged from acute care hospitals to help cover labor costs. This includes Sheppard Pratt, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, Adventist Healthcare Rehabilitation, and Encompass Health Rehabilitation. This funding is in addition to the $100 million in emergency funding previously announced by the Governor to meet urgent staffing needs at Maryland’s hospitals and nursing homes.

Maryland National Guard and Department of Defense (DoD) mission to Washington Adventist Alternative Care site. Governor Hogan authorized Brigadier General Adam Flasch of the Maryland National Guard to be activated and serve as a dual-status commander for a 44-person DoD mission to support the alternate care site at Takoma Park.

The state is launching a second round of antibody testing in nursing homes. The state, in coordination with lab partners, is launching another round of antibody testing in nursing homes this week. The study will help determine if there is a need to move forward with a possible fourth dose of vaccine for vulnerable residents.

Health Care Heroes Act will be introduced next week. The Hogan administration will introduce the Healthcare Heroes Act as emergency legislation next week. This bill will codify some of the administration’s previous actions to address labor shortages in healthcare facilities, including expediting licensing for retired healthcare practitioners, licensed practitioners in d other states and nursing graduates.

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