August 18, 2021
On August 18, Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference regarding new COVID-19 vaccination protocols. Gov. Hogan said that Maryland is on track to vaccinate 80% of adults by Labor Day and that 94% of the state’s seniors are vaccinated.
However, Gov. Hogan said, “The Delta variant does pose a significant threat to those Marylanders who are unvaccinated.” Gov. Hogan noted that there are “too many unvaccinated health care workers needlessly exposing” vulnerable patients.
The Maryland Department of Health will now be requiring all Maryland nursing home employees to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular COVID-19 screening and testing effective immediately. Nursing homes that fail to comply will face steeper penalties, including higher civil penalties and doubled fines.
The same vaccination and screening requirements will also be required of all Maryland hospital workers and staff. All nursing home and hospital employees will be required to have received their first dose of the vaccine by September 1.
Gov. Hogan is also asking President Biden to expedite approval for certain vaccination processes. The Governor is pushing the federal government to expand availability of booster shots beyond the immunocompromised to include seniors and nursing home residents. Gov. Hogan said he is hoping that booster shot implementations will be widely available by late September. He is also requesting full FDA approval for vaccines as well as accelerated approval for vaccines for children ages 5-11.
Concerning the surges in infections and the toll they take on health care workers, Gov. Hogan said it must feel like “the worst kind of deja vu … please know you have earned our continued gratitude [and] thank you for continuing to show us what it means to be Maryland Strong.”
Dr. Mohan Suntha, President and Chief Executive Officer of University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), said that requiring vaccines for workers of all Maryland hospitals and nursing homes is another step that moves the state forward. “We have the responsibility that comes with the social compact that is health care,” he said.
Join Dr. Mohan Suntha on August 27 for GBC Newsmaker Speaker Series: The COVID-19 Delta Variant — Medical and Legal Considerations in the Workplace. Register here.
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