January 4, 2022

Governor’s Briefing on COVID-19: January 4, 2022

Governor Larry Hogan:

  • Pandemic surge plans start when the state reaches 1,500 COVID patients
  • 100 million last month in increased funding for urgent staff needs in hospitals
  • State health officials now requiring all nursing homes experiencing outbreaks to provide therapeutic treatments
  • Proclamation declaring 30-day state of emergency to take short-term actions against COVID
  • Two new executive orders:
    • One gives Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Secretary the ability to regulate hospital personnel, bed space, and supplies
      • Allows MDH to establish alternate care facilities to address issues and staff shortages
      • Allows interstate reciprocity for healthcare licenses
      • Allows inactive healthcare providers to practice without needing reinstatement
      • Allows graduate nurses to work at any healthcare facility
      • Allows for healthcare practitioners to practice outside scope of licenses
      • Rescheduling elective procedures
    • Second order authorizes further steps to augment workforces
      • Mobilizing 1000 members of the Maryland National Guard
      • 250 deployed to support COVID testing sites
    • Opened two new testing sites last week, where National Guard will be deployed
  • 20 more sites opening this week outside hospitals to divert COVID testing patients from emergency rooms
  • Facts by the numbers:
    • In 2021, nearly 75% of people who tested positive for COVID were not fully vaccinated
    • Nearly 84% of all COVID hospitalizations for the year were not fully vaccinated
    • More than 84% of COVID deaths were not fully vaccinated
  • Maryland is now able to provide boosters for Marylanders ages 12-15
  • Urging federal officials to shorten time frame between initial vaccinations and booster shots
  • 92% of Maryland adults are vaccinated
  • 33% of 5-11 year-olds are vaccinated in MD
    • We want to keep schools open – get your children vaccinated
  • Face coverings now required in all state government buildings
  • State providing 2 hours of paid leave for state employees to get boosted
  • Strongly encouraging masks indoors – one of the best mitigation strategies we have
  • New Omicron surge is making it important for Marylanders to use common sense
    • “Wear the damn mask”
  • Calling on Biden administration to expedite testing kits and COVID pills


Major General Tim Gowan:

  • Operational update on deployment of National Guard across the State
  • Activating 1000 soldiers and airmen
  • COVID testing, hospital assistance, and non-life-threatening patient transport
  • Vaccine Equity Taskforce will increase efforts into vaccinating Marylanders


Dr. Ted Delbridge, Executive Director at Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems

  • 3006 adults and children in Maryland hospitals with COVID
  • More than 600 patients waiting in ERs to get a bed
  • Being asked for guidance and care that could come from other sites
  • Yellow alert — requesting that EMTs and paramedics take patients elsewhere, but all ERs are requesting no new patients
  • Less availability of EMS resources and longer response times for all emergency services
  • Hospitals postponing elective and non-urgent procedures
  • Redeploying staff and redesignating treatment rooms and areas for new patients
  • Intensive care patients being moved to places that can take care of them more effectively
  • Moving to engage all in the healthcare system — including students — to work as interns/externs in hospitals and care settings
  • If you have been vaccinated and it’s been 5 months, get your booster
  • Vaccinations are like wearing a seatbelt — it will prevent a fatality and is a common-sense safety measure
  • More than 10x more likely to be hospitalized if you’re not vaccinated
  • Seek non-urgent care at a clinic or primary care provider, not the ER
  • Use telehealth resources to take care of yourself if you test positive
  • If you’re sick, STAY HOME.

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