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Maryland governor issues a state of emergency amid COVID-19 surge

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced COVID-19 emergency actions amid recent surge.

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks in Annapolis, Md.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during a news conference, Oct. 25, 2021, in Annapolis, Md. Hogan declared a 30-day state of emergency on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases, mobilizing 1,000 members of the Maryland National Guard to help state and local health officials.

Brian Witte, Associated Press

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced additional COVID-19 emergency actions on Tuesday as COVID-19 cases surge and testing becomes troublesome.

  • “As I announced last week, we are continuing to closely monitor the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and use every tool at our disposal to make sure our hospitals have the resources they need to prepare for this and future surges,” said Hogan.

The governor issued a 30-day state of emergency, in addition to two executive orders — the first gives the state health secretary the ability to regulate hospital personnel, bed space and supplies, which includes transferring patients.

  • It also allows interstates health care licenses to be used, inactive health care practitioners to practice and graduate nurses to work at health care facilities.

The second order states that 20 additional COVID-19 testing sites will open across the state, assisted by 1,000 Maryland National Guard members, who will also aid hospitals.

  • “These are important actions,” said Hogan, “but getting vaccinated or boosted continues to be the single most important thing Marylanders can do to protect against these dangerous COVID-19 variants.”

Per Fox News, Baltimore, Maryland saw more than 14,000 new cases in one day with over 3,000 hospitalizations.

  • “Our hospitals are struggling to deal with the numbers of sick people coming to them. As of yesterday (Monday) afternoon, more than 600 patients were waiting at emergency departments for their turn to be admitted to a hospital bed. In fact, our emergency departments are as busy as they’ve ever been,” said Dr. Ted Delbridge, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, per WBAL-TV 11 News.
  • “The next four to six weeks will be the most challenging time of the entire pandemic,” Hogan said, referencing hospitalization numbers that could reach 5,000. “While we are hoping for the best, we are actively preparing for the worst.”