January 20, 2022

Governor’s Briefing on COVID-19: January 20, 2022

Home | COVID-19 | Governor’s Briefing on COVID-19: January 20, 2022

– We are 15 days into the 30 day State of Emergency, combatting Omicron
– Taken a number of urgent, short-term actions to address rise in case rate, hospitalization rate, and positivity rate
– Data today showing encouraging trends
– Key health metrics declining
– COVID-19 cases decreasing in MD at the second-best rate in US
– Positivity rate peaked 15 days ago at 29.9%
– Positivity rate is now at 18%, a decline of 40%
– Lower than 42 other states
– Case rate peaked 12 days ago and has declined by 44%, better than 47 other states
– Both case and positivity rate declining in all age groups
– Hospitalization rate peaked Jan 11, at 3,462 COVID hospitalizations
– After 8 consecutive days of decline, we are down to 2,983
– First time below 3,000 hospitalizations since Jan 2
– Decline in hospitalization is both a decrease in incoming patients and increase in outward movement
– Pediatric hospitalization makes up 1% of hospitalization
– Be prepared to see deaths go up before they go down: this is because there is always a lag with that type of data (approximately 7-10 days)
– Vast majority of COVID deaths are attributed to the unvaccinated
– MD has administered almost 10.8 million vaccines
– After declaring State of Emergency 15 days ago, our daily vax rate increased by 60%
– As of today, 93.9% of Marylanders are vaccinated
– 40% of 5-11 year olds are vaccinated
– Encouraging parents to get their school-age children vaccinated to keep kids in school
– We are not out of the woods
– Rates are not where we need to be
– Will continue to take action to combat surge
– Omicron is 4-5x more transmissible than any other we know of
– Accounts for more than 45% of confirmed COVID cases
– Opened 18 new testing sites to help out ERs and Urgent Cares
– 19th site opened at LifeBridge Health in Carroll County
– Another opening at GBMC in Baltimore County
– St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore City will open Saturday
– Testing at one of the highest rates in the country, more than 55,000 tests per day
– Also working on emergency procurements to secure as many at-home rapid tests as possible
– Late Friday, they learned that the pending orders for more rapid tests for this week were frozen
– Spoke with White House COVID coordinator and testing coordinators
– One of the previous orders of 800,000 tests, which was cut in half on Friday, will be restored in full
– Looking forward to getting more tests out in the coming weeks
– 20 million KN95 masks to Marylanders
– 3 million to schools
– 250,000 to the Judiciary
– KN95 masks are more protective
– Now free of charge through local health departments and at testing and vax sites across the State
– Being distributed to nursing homes across the state
– Without ANY mask mandate, we are 5th in the nation for mask-wearing
– Today, we are providing $5 million to specialty hospitals that have taken on COVID patients and extra costs
– Healthcare Heroes Act introduced Monday, codifying measures taken for healthcare workers to support them
– Continuing to take aggressive actions to protect residents in nursing homes
– This week, in partnership with Johns Hopkins and UMMS, we are launching another round of antibody testing in nursing homes, to be completed in two weeks
– Will determine if we move forward with a 4th dose for most vulnerable residents
– Very encouraged by improving situation, but next 10-14 days are critical
– Aggressive efforts will continue
– Keep doing the things that keep us safe!

– MCPS just went virtual for 2 weeks. Is that a step backwards?
– Hogan: “It’s a mistake”
– Want to keep kids safe
– To shut down an entire school system, thousands of kids, “too aggressive”
– Do you plan on extending the Emergency Order?
– Hopeful that by the time it ends we will be in a place where it’s not necessary


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