Hogan Says Marylanders Can Expect Record High COVID-19 Hospitalizations Soon

Via Office of the Governor’s Flickr.

Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland will likely reach a record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations in the near future.

“According to our modeling, we can expect to reach a new record high for hospitalizations in the coming days,” Hogan said at a press conference Tuesday. He said coronavirus hospitalizations have increased by 51% over the past two weeks. 1,583 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized in Maryland— the highest number since May 10. 21 hospitals have hit 90% capacity, the governor said.

The Maryland Department of Health reported 2,765 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday. In Montgomery County, 506 new cases were reported Tuesday. This is only the second time the daily increase was greater than 500; the first was 533 recorded on May 19.

On Monday, the state reported COVID-19’s youngest victim: a one-year-old boy.

“Sadly, we have lost our youngest victim, a one-year-old boy, to this deadly virus,” Hogan said, pausing while becoming emotional. No further details were given.

The governor urged hospitals and nursing homes to let unlicensed employees perform some less critical tasks in order to free-up nursing staff. Hogan announced that all hospitals must submit a surge plan to the state by Dec. 8. The plan must include strategies to implement additional beds and surge staffing.

He said there are currently 6,816 Marylanders in state hospitals. When that number reaches 8,000, all hospitals will have seven days to increase bed capacity by at least 10%.

Hogan announced new efforts Tuesday to assist hospitals, including a portal to recruit additional healthcare workers. The state is requesting that all universities and colleges immediately develop policies to give academic credit to students who are willing to serve in healthcare during the pandemic. Hogan said the state is also encouraging colleges to let healthcare students in their final semester be eligible for early exit if they have satisfied graduation requirements.

No further COVID-19 restrictions were announced at Tuesday’s press conference. When asked why by a reporter, Hogan said the state is making decisions as necessary and the current focus is on hospitals.

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