The Maryland Department of Health has announced that it will be launching a new set of COVID-19 webpages as the federal Public Health Emergency ends in May. This move reflects the new phase of COVID-19 that we are in today, said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Laura Herrera Scott. The department will continue to actively monitor trends related to COVID-19 and offer robust information about COVID-19 on the new webpages.
Starting from April 28, the information provided through the current websites, covidLINK.maryland.gov and coronavirus.maryland.gov, will be migrated to the new page. After this time, they will not be accessible, and visitors to these sites will be directed to the appropriate location. The department will continue to provide relevant information on COVID-19 as the federal response changes and as necessary for public health.
Maryland COVID data may be accessed on health.maryland.gov/COVID and the open data portal with a reporting cadence aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health reporting.
Along with these website changes, the state health department is also changing its COVID contact tracing services. The current system of outreach to COVID patients ended on April 25, and the MD COVID Alert system ends on May 9. However, outreach will continue in response to COVID-19 institutional outbreaks and other situations of public health importance. Local public health departments will continue to distribute at-home COVID-19 tests to facilitate public awareness and response to COVID-19.
The MD COVID Alert system was supported by the department of health and the Association of Public Health Laboratories in partnership with Google, Apple, and Microsoft. During the pandemic, more than 70,000 Marylanders used MD COVID Alert to anonymously alert others of possible exposure to COVID-19, generating more than half of a million exposure notifications to others to help slow the spread of community infection.
“We are proud of how receptive Marylanders were to using this technology to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Marcia Pearlowitz, Chief of the Contact Tracing Unit at the state health department. “MD COVID Alert was an important tool early in the pandemic, with more than 30% of Marylanders enabling this technology in the first few months of the system’s launch. We are trained and ready to use this tool, and our expertise, should we need it again in the future.”
Users of MD COVID Alert will be automatically notified when the application is no longer operational. They will not need to do anything at that time.