State Assembles More COVID Testing Sites, Makes Progress Against Omicron

On Thursday, January 20th, Governor Larry Hogan detailed progress of the state’s fight against the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

According to the Governor, case rates are declining and the state has mobilized even further in response to the recent Omicron-related surge, including adding new testing sites, distributing additional masks, and providing additional funding for health care providers.

The Administration highlighted several key facts and statistics charting the state’s progress against Omicron:

  • COVID-19 cases in Maryland are decreasing at the second fastest rate in America.
  • Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has declined 40% since it peaked 15 days ago.
  • The state’s case rate has declined 44% since it peaked 12 days ago.
  • Both the case rate and positivity rate are declining among all age groups.
  • Hospitalizations have declined for eight consecutive days, a result of both a decline in admissions and an increase in discharges.
  • Pediatric hospitalizations continue to make up approximately 1% of the state’s overall hospitalizations.

Governor Hogan expressed cautious optimism regarding the above progress in a press release:

“We are very encouraged by our substantially improving situation, but the next 10 days to two weeks are really going to be critical,” said Governor Hogan. “Our aggressive efforts will continue and we ask Marylanders to remain vigilant and to keep doing the things that can keep us safe: wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, watching your distance, staying home if you feel sick, and most importantly, getting tested, vaccinated, and boosted.”

The Governor also mentioned the availability of additional testing sites across the state:

  • LifeBridge Health site (Carroll County) is now operational.
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center (Baltimore County) site opens tomorrow.
  • A federally-supported site at St. Agnes Hospital (Baltimore City) opens Saturday.

Several other measures to combat COVID were also detailed:

  • President Biden’s Administration will be providing a full allocation of at-home rapid tests, totaling 800,000.
  • 3 million additional KN95 masks will be distributed to schools, and another 300,000 to the state judiciary.
  • $5 million will be distributed to specialty hospitals grappling with COVID-19 including Sheppard Pratt, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, Adventist Healthcare Rehabilitation, and Encompass Health Rehabilitation.
  • The National Guard has been activated to provide assistance at the Washington Adventist Alternate Care Site.
  • The state, in coordination with lab partners, will be launching another round of antibody testing in nursing homes this week.

Read the full press release.