New numbers show COVID-19 hospitalization surge driven by unvaccinated Marylanders

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — New statistics from the University of Maryland Medical System show the unvaccinated are driving new COVID-19 hospitalizations. Over the last month, 74% of their COVID inpatients are unvaccinated, 24% are fully vaccinated, and just 2% received a booster shot.

Right now, more than 3,000 Marylanders are hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. This time last year, about 1,700 people were hospitalized with the virus across the state.

This week, Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) enacted a new state of emergency to help take the pressure off hospitals, and leaders at the local level are on board, too.

“The governor’s order is serious business and I hope it’s a wake-up call for the unvaccinated and unboosted,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, who tested positive for COVID over the weekend.

Elrich commended Hogan for taking more action but said he still wants to see him do more.

“I’m asking the governor to implement a statewide indoor mask mandate,” said Elrich during a press briefing Wednesday. “You’re going to have to manage the spread that comes, so it makes a difference in how fast COVID spreads and the masks simply help keep us safer.”

And as the virus keeps spreading and tests become scarce, people are turning to hospitals for tests and being turned away.

“We want to reiterate, if the only thing you need is a test, do not go to the hospital emergency departments, please,” said Sean O’Donnell, an emergency preparedness manager for Montgomery County.

Part of Hogan’s new actions this week included activating the Maryland National Guard to help stand up testing sites outside of 20 hospitals across the state. However, there is no word yet on which hospitals will get those sites.

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