ANNAPOLIS, MD—At today’s meeting of the Board of Public Works (BPW), Governor Larry Hogan provided an update on the COVID-19 state of emergency and steps the state is taking to address the national testing shortage. As of today, the state is reporting 3,118 COVID-19 hospitalizations, which is an increase of 61 over yesterday.

“I want to inform this board that, to address this national shortage, we are currently working on numerous emergency procurements to deal with the multiple emergency actions related to the crisis, including the acquisition of as many of these rapid tests as we possibly can from multiple sources,” said Governor Hogan. “As I said yesterday, the next four to six weeks will be the most challenging of the entire pandemic.”

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Emergency Procurements for At-Home Rapid Tests. Governor Hogan notified the BPW that state officials are now working on emergency procurements to acquire more at-home rapid tests to address the national shortage. The state is currently in the process of distributing 1 million rapid tests through state-run testing sites and local health departments.

Sequencing Data: Omicron Is Dominant Variant. Governor Hogan announced that, according to the state’s lab partners, 88.5% of all recently analyzed samples tested positive for the Omicron variant. And of those samples that were hospitalized, 91.4% have the Omicron variant. This data shows that the Omicron variant is clearly the dominant variant among COVID-19 confirmed cases in Maryland.

UMMS: 2% of COVID Patients Boosted. The governor also shared new data from the University of Maryland Medical System showing that over the last 30 days, 74% of COVID patients were unvaccinated and 24% were considered fully vaccinated, while just 2% were boosted. This data highlights the urgency of getting boosted now for maximum protection against the Omicron variant. State health officials have authorized booster shots for all eligible Marylanders 12 and older.

For this COVID-19 state of emergency, state officials encourage Marylanders to utilize all of the recommended layered prevention strategies, including getting booster shots and wearing masks.

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