Gov. Larry Hogan declared a COVID-19 state of emergency Tuesday to battle the variant. He also activated the Maryland National Guard to meet the testing demand.
“It’s important for Marylanders to go back to using common sense and doing the things that will keep us safe: avoiding crowds, keeping your distance. Washing your hands, and yes once again wearing the damn masks,” Hogan said at a Hanover press conference.
The governor did not, however, reinstate a statewide mask mandate or business capacity restrictions. Face coverings are once again required in state government buildings, they are not necessary everywhere in Maryl.
Prince George’s County Hogan’s state of emergency will National.
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About 250 of these citizen will support testing sites at hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. They will also help with patient transport as needed.
Guard members will additionally staff Maryland’s two new test sites at Annapolis and Bel Air hospitals. These facilities offer free walk-up testing daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Annapolis location is in the Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Bel Air site is at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health.
The National Guard will also open 20 testing sites outside Maryland hospitals. Hogan hopes this will prevent people from visiting already-swamped emergency rooms for coronavirus tests.
Allow interstate reciprocity for health care licenses National .
Allow inactive health care to practice without needing to reinstate their expired license
Authorize graduate nurses to work at any health care facility and provide full nursing services
Issue directives to control and monitor COVID-19 in nursing homes and similar facilities
Hogan signed another executive order that grants similar licensing leeway for emergency medical services. This will expand the workforce available to first responders.
“All of the emergency actions we are taking today are to keep our hospitals from overflowing, to keep our kids in school, and to keep Maryland open for business,” the governor said in a press release. “We will continue to take whatever actions are necessary in the very difficult days and weeks ahead.”
These updates come as hospitals flood with COVID-19 patients. The highly contagious, but milder, omicron variant has driven the state to a record-high 3,057 hospitalizations. That’s up more than 500 percent in the last 7 weeks.
Hogan said the next four to six weeks will be the toughest of the pandemic. He predicted that hospitalizations could pass 5,000. That would be more than 250 percent higher than the previous peak.
They may not be more lenient than the state.
The governor similarly signed an executive order to alleviate some stress on hospitals. This gives Dennis Schrader, the Maryland Department of Health secretary, the power to:
The governor encouraged vaccines and booster shots, citing these statistics. Hogan reminde residents that booster shots are now available for aged 12 to 15. The governor incentivized boosters Monday by offering two hours of paid leave to state employees who get the extra dose.
The state is still working on first doses for kids aged 5 to 11. About a third of this age bracket has gotten an inoculation.
That group previously had to wait six months. The governor urged federal officials to consider shortening that time period further for those in nursing homes.
To get a test, visit . Visit to book a COVID-19 vaccine. The state’s health metrics are update daily at.
CORRECTION: This story previously said can get a booster shot five months after their initial two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna immunizations. That was not entirely correct.
Residents 18 and up who got the Pfizer inoculation can get a booster shot of any kind five months after their initial two doses. Locals 12 to 17 who got the Pfizer must also wait five months, but they are only eligible for the Pfizer booster.
Locals 18 and up must wait six months after their Moderna or two months after their Johnson & Johnson vaccines to get a booster shot. Once that time passes, they can get any booster they want.