Maryland hospitals will now cut back on non-COVID-19 procedures to free up beds and workers to handle the growing number of COVID-19 hospitalizations the state is seeing.
The state on Thursday surpassed a threshold of 1,500 coronavirus-related hospitalizations statewide, triggering policy changes at Maryland hospitals, as ordered by the Department of Health.
As of Thursday morning, there are now 1,505 COVID-related hospitalizations, with 40 new patients overnight.
A state dashboard of COVID-19 cases for the state shows an additional 6,869 cases in the past 24 hours. The previous highest number was 6,218.
Over the past three days, Maryland has recorded more than 17,000 COVID-19 cases.
Under the state’s pandemic plan, hospitals will do the following:
- Optimize existing bed capacity;
- Adjust hospital capacity, such as bringing additional staffed beds into service;
- Redeploy staff or alter staffing models;
- Reduce non-urgent and elective procedures and surgeries;
- Transfer patients to alternate care sites; and
- Bridge idle clinical or administrative space online or convert other space for clinical care.
“Our projections now show that in the coming weeks, we could reach record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland, possibly over 2,000. We have been actively preparing for this scenario in coordination with all of our hospitals, and today’s actions are the latest step in that planning,” said Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R).
“With unvaccinated patients driving the strain on our health care system, we urge Marylanders to do your part by getting your vaccine or booster shot as soon as you can. We will continue to closely monitor this surge, and take additional actions as needed.”
In preparation for the surge, Maryland committed $100 million in emergency funding to address hospital and nursing home staffing needs.
Maryland had been expected COVID-19 cases to peak in January.
As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Colleen Kelleher. Click here for the WTOP News website.