Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces new visitation guidelines for hospitals, nursing homes

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made several announcements at a press conference on Thursday related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including a testing program for schools, limited visitation for Maryland hospitals and nursing homes and the opening of the next mass vaccination site at M&T Bank Stadium.

Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) have launched a program to provide up to 1 million COVID-19 tests for both public and non-public schools. This will serve as an additional tool to support schools that are open, or plan to reopen, for in-person learning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

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The state will provide both rapid antigen point-of-care and diagnostic testing supplies proportional to the number of students and staff returning for in-person learning, based on the anticipated number of students and staff that may need testing, using guidance from state health officials. 

As of today, 16 school systems are currently open for some form of in-person instruction, and six more have indicated they will be opening for in-person instruction for at least some students by March 1. Plans for reopening are due to MSDE by tomorrow.

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Governor Hogan also announced that the Maryland Department of Health will issue orders to allow limited visitation to resume at Maryland hospitals and nursing homes.

Each hospital will set its own visitation policies, which must be in compliance with CDC guidelines. Indoor visitation at nursing homes will resume as early as March 1, provided facilities do not have active cases and follow proper testing protocols.

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Maryland's next mass vaccination site, located at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore City, will open on Thursday, Feb. 25. For updates on when appointments for mass vaccination sites become available, click here.

Hogan will be at the White House tomorrow to meet with President Biden in the Oval Office.