Maryland Gov. Hogan announces RSV mitigation actions; potential COVID-19, flu surge preparedness

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a series of new mitigation actions after a surge in respiratory syncytial virus - or RSV - cases across the state.

Hogan has directed hospitals to utilize additional state funding to prioritize pediatric ICO staffing. The Maryland Department of Health announced $80 million in additional funding for healthcare providers across the state.

Hospitals will receive $25 million and have been directed to utilize these resources to increase the hiring and recruitment of staff to help deal with the surge.

The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems will also expand its Critical Care Coordination Center to include pediatric surge operations. This will optimize existing capacity, increase statewide capacity of pediatric ICU beds, and facilitate the transfer of pediatric patients to available beds in Maryland hospitals and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

RSV hospitalizations are increasing earlier and more rapidly than in previous years, with the 0-2 age group comprising 57% of hospitalizations. Last week in northern Virginia, a two-month old died from RSV complications and his twin brother was hospitalized.

"After meeting with our multi-agency public health task force yesterday and reviewing all of the data, I am announcing these steps to give our hospitals more tools to expand bed capacity for pediatric patients," said Hogan in a statement. "We also continue to encourage Marylanders to be COVIDReady, so that we remain one of the most vaccinated and boosted states, and stay ahead of the virus."

Hogan said he has expanded COVIDReady Maryland by adding the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine booster shot for residents five years old and older. In addition, adults now have the option of receiving a Novavax monovalent booster if they have not previously received a booster and if they cannot or will not receive mRNA vaccines.

More than 710,000 Marylanders have received the COVID-19 bivalent booster. You can find a vaccination clinic near you online.