The number of Marylanders hospitalized for COVID-19 soared past 2,000 as the state reported a flood of new cases Wednesday, and hospitals must cancel elective surgeries, Gov. Larry Hogan said.
Hospitalizations are at their highest level since the pandemic began, and it’s being driven by unvaccinated patients, Hogan said.
“Under a state health directive, hospitals are required to implement pandemic plans to suspend elective surgeries and manage their patient census,” Hogan said in a release. He called on residents to get vaccinations and booster shots.
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Through December, Maryland officials have been bracing for the surge by taking emergency actions to step up testing, help hospitals meet staffing needs and coordinate patient transfers from overly crowded facilities.
Still, some are calling on the governor to do more.
Bob Atlas, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association, urged Hogan to declare a public health emergency.
Atlas said Tuesday that such a declaration would “make plain to everyone how serious the situation is right now,” the Associated Press reported.
Maryland reported more than 10,800 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the largest jump in cases ever reported.
The number of COVID-19 tests coming back positive has rocketed to nearly 20%, roughly quadrupling over the past month.
Such a high number would indicate more testing should be done to contain the virus. Maryland has had a goal of remaining under 10% positivity in each jurisdiction.
Prince George’s County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter said hospitalizations there are as high as they were in February.
“I am extremely concerned that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the County has increased 27% since last week,” he said in a release.
Carter encouraged residents to get vaccines and booster doses. He also asked people to turn to urgent care or their physician for non-emergency illnesses.