ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — The first step of Gov. Larry Hogan’s recently-updated pandemic plan went into effect after 1,204 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Friday.
“Having surpassed 1,200 COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide, we are triggering a new round of actions for Maryland hospitals,” Hogan said in a Friday press release, “including making available all-staffed bed capacity and reducing non-urgent medical surgeries.”
While the state continues to suffer from a lack of confirmed daily case data following the cyberattack earlier this month, hospitalizations have nearly doubled since the end of November. This is likely being driven by the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant.
“Based on preliminary data, Omicron is believed to be far more transmissible than previous variants, and it is anticipated to rapidly overtake Delta as the main driver of new cases,” Hogan said.
In his press release, the governor encouraged Marylanders to get vaccinated to protect themselves from this current wave of new infections.
“The vast majority of these hospitalizations are unvaccinated patients, who remain at grave risk of serious infection, severe illness, and death … The bottom line: if you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, get your booster shot.”
At 1,500 hospitalizations, all state hospitals have been directed to implement their individual pandemic plans.
According to state records, Maryland’s hospitalizations peaked nearly a year ago, on Jan. 11, 2021, with 1,952 patients receiving care for COVID-19.