Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference on December 15, 2020, in the State House concerning Maryland’s COVID-19 response.
Key Takeaways of the Press Conference
- Maryland is undertaking a public service campaign to encourage vaccine usage and importance.
- Maryland purchased one million additional COVID-19 tests from South Korea’s LabGenomics.
- The Governor re-activated the Maryland National Guard to assist with vaccine logistics.
Governor Hogan’s Remarks
- The Governor said that the first vaccinations in Maryland occurred this week, marking a turning point for the fight against COVID-19.
- Maryland’s statewide vaccination plan is in Phase 1A, which focuses on vaccinating frontline healthcare workers, long-term care residents and staff, and first responders.
- Every hospital in Maryland will receive the first doses of the vaccine over the next week as part of the initial allocation of 155,000 doses.
- The Governor asked for patience as more vaccines arrive and distribution plans accelerate.
- To assist in the distribution of vaccines, the Governor is re-activating the Maryland National Guard to provide logistical support with planning and operations and to provide assistance at distribution points. Later, the National Guard will help set up mobile vaccination clinics and augment rapid response teams to address outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
- The Governor said the State is ramping up a public health outreach effort, including briefing the Maryland Congressional Delegation, leaders of the Maryland General Assembly, county leaders and community leaders. In addition, the State will launch public service announcements to promote vaccine safety and importance.
- Governor Hogan announced that the South Korean company LabGenomics has partnered with Maryland-based diagnostic company Cian Diagnostics to bring one million more COVID-19 tests to Maryland.
- The Governor reported that Maryland’s COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 5,000, while the U.S. death toll has surpassed 300,000.
- Maryland has had more than 239,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The statewide positivity rate is 7.53%. Cases per 100,000 is 46.4, the ninth lowest in the United States. There have been 5.1 million COVID-19 tests conducted in Maryland.
- 23,711 COVID patients have been hospitalized in Maryland, including 1,799 currently hospitalized. There are 411 Marylanders in intensive care and 88% of staffed acute beds are occupied. 146 patients are currently in alternate care surge sites, including the Baltimore Convention Center.
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