The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the state has exceeded the 1,500 threshold for which the implementation of additional measures to reserve space must be taken per a recent order by the Maryland Department of Health.
The additional measures include the prioritization of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients and others who are critically ill, the adjustment of capacity limits, the redeployment of staff, and the reduction of elective procedures.
Gov. Larry Hogan responded to news of the threshold break on Thursday, saying COVID-19 related hospitalizations are likely to continue to increase in the short term.
“Our projections now show that in the coming weeks, we could reach record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland, possibly over 2,000,” Hogan said in a statement. “We have been actively preparing for this scenario in coordination with all of our hospitals, and today’s actions are the latest step in that planning.”
“With unvaccinated patients driving the strain on our health care system, we urge Marylanders to do your part by getting your vaccine or booster shot as soon as you can. We will continue to closely monitor this surge, and take additional actions as needed,” Hogan added.
On Tuesday, Hogan announced that the state will provide an additional $100 million in emergency funding to help address staffing needs at its hospitals and nursing homes.
There are 638,379 cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Thursday morning, according to the Department of Health, and 11,022 people in Maryland have died from the virus. The state’s positivity rate is 12.8%, which is considered extremely high by CDC guidelines. Maryland has conducted more than 15.8 million COVID-19 tests.
Ninety-one percent of the state’s adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 65% have received both doses of the vaccine, according to the Department.
Nationwide, about 62% of the population or about 205 million people are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.