ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland’s COVID-19 dashboard became visible again on Monday and revealed that the state is in what could be the biggest wave of coronavirus seen thus far.
“As I have been warning for the past few weeks, we are entering another pivotal moment in the fight against COVID-19,” said Gov. Larry Hogan.
As the state’s positivity rate and daily cases surge upward, hospitalizations have nearly doubled just since the beginning of the month. Maryland reported over 6,200 cases on Tuesday, a massive jump from the previous peak of nearly 3,800 cases, which was reached over a year ago.
Hospitals were on the edge of needing to deploy their “pandemic plans” on Tuesday. According to Dr. Ted Delbridge, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, hospitals were servicing nearly 1,460 coronavirus patients on Tuesday.
To assist the effort, Hogan announced $100 million of emergency funding for hospitals and nursing homes and said the money will be used to address staffing issues and coronavirus test shortages. The Maryland National Guard will also be sent to testing sites across the state in order to improve testing speed and expand operating hours.
Hogan acknowledged that residents may be feeling fatigued and misled by the government, but urged Marylanders to not let up on protecting themselves.
“I know that there’s been confusing guidance from the federal government on this, but with what we know about these dangerous variants, nobody should think of a booster as just a bonus or an extra dose. And you shouldn’t think that the term ‘fully vaccinated’ means ‘fully protected,'” Hogan said.
According to the governor’s team, the remaining 9% of unvaccinated Marylanders account for 75% of current hospitalizations.