December 2, 2020

Governor’s Briefing on COVID-19: December 1, 2020

December 1, 2020: Governor Hogan Press Conference

Governor Hogan:

  • Cares act funding will run out at end of Dec.
  • Calls for passage of Stage 4 stimulus relief package
  • Federal priority
  • Discussion w/ WH Coronavirus Task Force,
  • Vaccine production, distribution (federal discussion)
  • MD COVID Task Force, CEOs of hospital systems across MD, leadership of Maryland Association of Counties
  • 201,335 confirmed cases
  • 2,765 cases in past 24 hrs. 
  • 27 straight days w/ 1,000+ cases
  • 7.33% 7-day positivity rate
  • 34.4 per 100,000 cases
  • Statewide positivity rate better than 41 states
  • Cases per 100,000 better than 39 states
  • 14th best state for residents voluntarily staying in the state
  • Carnegie Mellon study: MD 96% compliant w/ wearing masks
  • Hospitalizations increase by 51% over the past two weeks 
  • Expect new record high for hospitalization of the next few days
  • 130 surge beds in use 
  • 1,583 COVID patients hospitalized today
  • Highest level since May 10
  • 350 in ICU
  • 21 hospitals reached > 90% capacity
  • 4,516 deaths in MD
  • Surge measures to date
    • 6k beds, expanded manpower
    • Fast-tracked licensing process for out-of-state healthcare practitioners, expired medical licenses
    • Activated Maryland Responds Reserved Medical Corps
    • Adding alternate care site capacity
    • Staffing support for nursing homes
    • Limiting hospital visits
    • Enabling overburdened hospitals to transfer patients 
    • Early exit encouraged for qualified healthcare students
    • Counties encouraged to tap school nurses, health services staff, other employees for help with vaccines
    • Hospitals and nursing homes urged to free up nursing staff
  • Seeking Marylanders with clinical backgrounds to volunteer, help w/ medical care to serve, gave website
  • Request MD universities, colleges to develop emergency policy and procedures to award academic credit to students who want to serve in healthcare during pandemic
  • Allow healthcare students in final semester, satisfied all grad requirements to be eligible for early exit, expedited testing and licensing requirements to join work force
  • Hospitals required to submit a surge plan no later than 12/8
    • Includes detailed strategy for expansion of hospital beds and staffing capacity adjustments
  • Hospitals should immediately begin making adjustments on an emergency basis including adding or redeploying staff, reducing noncritical elective procedures, transferring patients 
  • When we reach 8000 total hospitalizations statewide, all hospitals required to expand staff to bed capacity by at least 10% within 7 days 


Dr. David Marcozzi, University of Maryland Medical System

  • Thanksgiving holiday gave way to more spread, more positive cases
  • “No ceiling” to virus
  • Cases, hospitalizations, deaths will keep rising unless we make a change
  • Importance of seeing doctor, nurse practitioners
  • Stay physically & mentally healthy
  • Potential staffing constraints
  • Colleges should investigate giving school credit to those who want to help
  • Get vaccine when available


Responses to Questions

  • Decisions as necessary, hospitals, healthcare providers at the forefront, focal point
  • Ideas on what students can do
    • A: health science students and how they can be brought into health care services (give shots, swab)
  • Looking for 2k-3k people to step into roles 
  • When are more restrictions coming?
    • A: will take them as we see fit
  • Relief still isn’t enough; CARES Act money about to expire, but will take what we can get now
  • One month from now?
    • A: conversation w/ hospital CEOs; will continue to get worse over next few weeks, worse part still ahead of us
  • Travel over the holiday; message to them?
    • A: 90% didn’t travel; those who did should get tested before going around other people

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