Hospital CEO: “We Have Beds… It’s the Staff”

A Legislative COVID Response Group convened on December 16, and heard broad, timely updates on caseloads and trends, along with statewide responses and vaccination planning.

The December 16 briefing on COVID-19 illustrated the continued upward climb of caseloads and deaths, but includes elements of optimism as vaccines have been distributed.

Acting Health Secretary Dennis Schrader and leaders from the Maryland Department of Health reviewed current numbers, and discussed the plans for vaccine distribution in the months ahead.

Maryland COVID data, as always is update daily online:

Among other speakers during the presentation was Dr. Maulik Joshi, CEO of Meritus Health in Hagerstown. He commented on the anticipated growth of inpatient caseloads and the challenges of treating growing numbers of COVID cases, summarizing by saying, “we have beds… it’s the staff.” He discussed an ongoing partnership with the Local Health Department, where he himself serves as co-Incident Commander along with Washington County Health Officer Earl Stoner. Responding to questions later on, he did note “we are in a better place with PPE [personal protective equipment],” but did note that laboratory equipment had become a relative shortage in recent months.

The full video of the meeting can be viewed on the General Assembly’s YouTube site.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties