Dr. Jinlene Chan, Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services at the Maryland Department of Health, updated the workgroup on the Department’s COVID-19 response activities.
Dr. Chan briefed the workgroup on the status of the state’s roadmap to recovery which focused on the four pillars of testing, contract tracing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and hospital surge capacity. In terms of testing, on August 1st all counties reached the benchmark of testing 10% of their populations. As for PPE, the State has distributed 72 million pieces to date and is working on providing the necessary supplies for the November election.
When it comes to contact tracing, the department is using a salesforce system that local health departments have access to either directly or by referral per the county’s preference. So far they have reached and interviewed 30,000 contacts from over 20,000 cases. To secure surge capacity, the department worked with the hospitals and local jurisdictions to secure 6,700 beds that will remain available through the end of the year.
Dr. Chan closed her remarks by noting the department has undertaken an outreach campaign targeting underserved and minority populations. Much of this outreach has been done in partnership with the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities.
The Joint COVID-19 Response Legislative Work Group is co-chaired by President Ferguson and Speaker Jones and includes 22 House and Senate members. Their charge is to monitor the effects COVID-19 in Maryland and to support the Governor and Department of Health and advise the General Assembly on any actions they should be taking.
The meeting was streamed live and a recording may be found on YouTube.
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