State Drafts New Measures to Combat COVID Surge

Monday, the State of Maryland advanced several measures to curb increasing new COVID-19 case rates, including paid leave for state employees to receive booster vaccinations and requiring face coverings in state buildings.

Governor Larry Hogan discussed the new measures in a press release:

Face Covering Requirement For State Buildings. Beginning Jan. 3, 2022, face coverings will be required for employees and visitors in all state buildings and leased space in all public or shared spaces.

Paid Leave For Booster Shots. To encourage booster shots among all eligible state employees, the state will be providing two hours of paid leave for any employee who receives a booster. This benefit will apply retroactively: employees who present proof of receiving a booster will receive the leave. All employers are encouraged to offer paid leave for vaccinations and booster shots.

Updated Quarantine Protocols for State Employees. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and Maryland Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has issued updated guidance to state agencies and offices adopting new CDC guidance on quarantine protocols for state employees, and allowing agency heads discretion to implement telework and hybrid work schedules for applicable employees while maintaining operations to continue serving Marylanders. Front-facing agency services will continue to remain open.

In its most recent update, Maryland’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard reported 14,251 new COVID-19 cases within the last 24 hours and a 26.87% positivity rate. The Dashboard also notes a total of 2,746 hospitalizations across the state, a record since the onset of the pandemic. Maryland is likely to adopt additional measures in the near future to address the surge.

Read the Governor’s full press release.