As COVID-19 deaths climb in Maryland, Gov. Hogan pledges to get vaccine publicly

Maryland is reporting 50 new deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus for the first time since May, according to state health officials.

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In addition, the state revealed that 2,632 new cases have been confirmed. Now, Gov. Larry Hogan is outlining Maryland's vaccination plan and pledging to get the COVID-19 vaccine publicly. 

After months of declining case numbers and metrics that made state health officials optimistic, a resurgent virus prompted officials to re-introduce measures to curb its spread.

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Despite renewing limits on capacity inside establishments like restaurants and bars, and once again limiting public gatherings, the state finds itself firmly in the so-called “red zone” once again, with a positivity rate of 7.61%.

The Maryland Health Department issued an order Tuesday that makes it possible for any healthcare professional to administer the COVID-19 vaccines with appropriate training and supervision.

Gov. Hogan also announced that he and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford will get the vaccine in public as soon as it becomes available to them, and will lead a statewide campaign urging all Marylanders to get vaccinated.

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MHD says phase 1A of vaccine allocation will focus on health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and first responders. Maryland anticipates 155,000 doses of the vaccine to be allocated to the state for phase 1A from Pfizer and Moderna.

In the following weeks, MHD and Gov. Hogan plan on rolling out a statewide vaccine confidence campaign. Officials hope to address vaccine hesitancy, communicate safety information, provide rumor control and address misinformation.

COVID-19 is responsible for the deaths of 4,755 Marylanders since its arrival in March. The virus has sickened nearly 220,000 people in the state.