$100M in Emergency Funds to Support Staffing at Maryland Hospitals, Nursing Homes

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also announced a plan to ramp up testing across the state

A nurse treats a patient with coronavirus in the intensive care unit at a hospita
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday he approved $100 million in emergency funding to support staffing needs at hospitals and nursing homes as the omicron COVID-19 variant continues to spread.

The state reported 6,218 new COVID cases Tuesday — the highest single-day total for Maryland so far.

Hogan said $50 million through Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission will stabilize hospital workforce and staffing needs, while $25 million for hospitals and $25 million for nursing homes will also help expand the availability of COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines.

In addition, Maryland schools will get an extra $30 million in funding to purchase testing resources, Hogan said.

State health officials are working to increase weekly test shipments to get more tests out quicker, he said. Testing sites in Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties will also expand their hours of operation.

The governor said he's also mobilizing the Maryland National Guard to provide support personnel to expand testing sites and hours, and the state's Vaccine Equity Task Force is mobilizing additional resources to offer testing at vaccine clinics in vulnerable communities.

The Maryland Department of Health said COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen by more than 180% in the last month.

Hogan pleaded with unvaccinated Marylanders to get the shot.

"I can't stress this enough—getting vaccinated and getting your booster is your strongest possible defense against this virus and its variants," he said.

Hogan announced his plan to combat the surge during a virtual news conference Tuesday, a day after the governor tested positive for COVID-19.

“This morning, as part of my regular testing routine, I received a positive rapid test for COVID-19. I have been vaccinated and boosted, and I am feeling fine at the moment,” he wrote on Twitter Monday.

He said a PCR test also came back positive and he has "cold-like symptoms."

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