Hogan said the surge was being driven 'primarily by unvaccinated patients.'
ANNAPOLIS, MD - November 17: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan keeps his mask on as he answers questions during a press conference to address COVID-19 concerns in Annapolis, MD on November 17. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
He said the state has put the following measures into place:
- Established a surge operations center to optimize bed capacity and fully utilize the alternate care sites we have kept in place
- Committed an additional $100 million for hospitals and nursing homes to address urgent staffing needs
- Began to distribute 500,000 at-home rapid test kits through local health departments and BWI Airport
- Expanded the days and hours of state-run testing sites, and encouraged local health departments to do the same
- Made an additional $30 million in funding available to school systems to enhance their own testing resources
- Mobilized the Maryland National Guard to stand up multiple surge testing sites, and directed state health officials to take whatever steps are necessary to acquire additional at-home rapid test kits
- Calling on the federal government to do more to expand the availability of testing—including invoking the Defense Production Act—but as the president himself has acknowledged, those efforts have fallen short. Regardless, we will do all we can at the state level to further scale up testing operations.
- Expanded genomic sequencing to track and detect COVID-19 variants
- Aggressively promoted booster shots, which provide the strongest possible protection against the highly transmissible Omicron variant
"Again, this is not March of 2020," Hogan said in a statement. "It's important to use common sense and take precautions, but we have the tools, resources, and strategies in place to protect ourselves."