Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for state employees who work in congregate settings with vulnerable populations.
State employees working in these settings must show proof of coronavirus vaccination, Hogan announced at a press conference Thursday. If they cannot, they will be required to follow strict face mask requirements and must submit to regular COVID-19 testing.
The mandate goes into effect Sept. 1 and applies to state employees who work in facilities with the following departments: juvenile services, public safety and correctional services, veterans affairs, as well and healthcare facilities with the state health department. Hogan said any employee who tries to provide false proof of vaccination will be subject to disciplinary action.
Hogan strongly urged private nursing home operators to institute similar vaccination requirements for their employees. He said the state is seeing an uptick in infections among vaccinated nursing home staff, but not among residents. The state will take actions if necessary, he said.
The governor said the state is not imposing any new face mask restrictions or mandates at this time.
Hogan said almost every person currently hospitalized with or dying of COVID-19 in Maryland is unvaccinated. Out of all Marylanders who are fully vaccinated, less than 0.01% have been hospitalized and less than 0.001% have died, he said. About 0.12% have had a breakthrough infection.
He had a message for Marylanders refusing to get vaccinated.
“Those of you who refuse to get vaccinated at this point are willfully and unnecessarily putting yourself and others at risk of hospitalization and death,” Hogan said.
“You are the ones threatening the freedoms of all the rest of us. The freedom not to wear masks, to keep our businesses open, and to get our kids back in school. And tragically, it may be only a matter of time until you do get COVID-19.”
— Maryam Shahzad (@maryam_mcm) August 5, 2021