Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declares state emergency, activates National Guard due to Covid surge

Governor says the next four to six weeks will be the “most challenging” for Marylanders

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 04 January 2022 19:03
Hogan institutes 30-day state of emergency amid COVID surge | VIDEO
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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has ordered a 30-day state of emergency after Covid-related hospitalisations spiked 500 per cent over the last few weeks.

Mr Hogan told Marylanders to expect the next four to six weeks to be the “most challenging”.

“From day one of the crisis. I have told it to you straight, and so the truth is that the next four to six weeks will be the most challenging time of the entire pandemic,” Mr Hogan said during a news conference Tuesday morning.

The governor said 1,000 National Guard members would be activated to assist with testing. The Guardsmen will also open 20 testing sites outside of hospitals throughout the state.

According to the state's health projections, Covid-19 hospitalisations could exceed 5,000 people, a 250 per cent increase than last year's peak of 1,952.

During the press conference, Mr Hogan pleaded with residents who have still not taken the coronavirus vaccine to get vaccinated. He noted that the vast majority of Covid-19 hospitalisations were unvaccinated individuals.

“Throughout all of 2021, nearly 75 per cent of those who tested positive for Covid-19 in Maryland were people who had not been fully vaccinated. Nearly 84 per cent of all our Covid hospitalisations for the entire year were people who were not fully vaccinated,” Mr Hogan said.

“And more than 84 per cent of the more than 4700 additional Marylanders who died from Covid-19 last year, were not fully vaccinated. These are not opinions or judgments. These are indisputable facts.”

The governor spoke on his own experience battling Covid-19, and said he was glad he had been vaccinated and spared the worst of the disease’s symptoms.

“For me, it was like a pretty bad cold and that’s because I was fully vaccinated and boosted. I’m thankful for that, so I didn’t end up in the hospital or dead like some of the other folks have in Maryland. I was able to get monoclonal antibody treatment, and I’m very happy to have the chance to do that. I don’t know if that – they said you’d feel instantly better, but I didn’t feel anything at all,” Mr Hogan said.

There are currently 3,006 adults and 51 children who have been hospitalised due to Covid-19 in Maryland hospitals. That number is a 100 per cent increase since 22 December, according to Dr Ted Delbridge, the executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Systems.

“Our hospitals are struggling to deal with the numbers of sick people coming to them,” he said. “As of yesterday [Monday] afternoon, more than 600 patients were waiting at emergency departments for their turn to be admitted to a hospital bed. In fact, our emergency departments are as busy as they've ever been.”

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