Gov. Larry Hogan announces additional efforts, resources during COVID-19 pandemic
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference Thursday afternoon to provide an update on COVID-19 across the state of Maryland.
Maryland is reporting 159,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with an additional 1,477 new cases in the past 24 hours. The state’s 7-day positivity rate increased to 5.65%, with more than half of the state’s jurisdictions above 5%. In addition, hospitalizations are up 53% over the past 2 weeks. 863 COVID patients are currently hospitalized, which is the highest since June 11th, and 199 patients are in the ICU, which is the highest level since June 25th.
Hogan also says more than 460,000 Marylanders have already subscribed to the MD COVID Alert contact tracing app in the 48 hours since its launch.
“As we renew and redouble our efforts to flatten the curve once again, the governor calls on leaders in Washington to “put the politics aside, do their jobs” and reach a compromise on the next stimulus package,” Hogan said.
The governor also announced additional funding efforts across the state:
- $70 million for targeted investigating utilizing CARES Act funding to further bolster the state’s emergency response to this current surge
- $20 million for the Maryland Health Department to continue building up the state’s strategic stockpile of PPE
- $15 million for the Maryland Department of Labor Division of Unemployment Insurance to expand call center staffing and adjudication staffing, improve customer service management software, and provide additional fraud detection measures
- $10 million in rental assistance to cover rent payments for low income tenants who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic
- $10 million to accelerate the state’s planning for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine
- $10 million for area food banks
- $2 million in emergency supplemental resources to help foster care providers meet the needs of the youth entrusted to their care
- $2 million for SNAP and energy assistance programs, to go towards increasing call handing capacity and extending daily hours of operation to manage the increase in these programs
- $1 million for an innovative wastewater sampling program to help detect COVID outbreaks in vulnerable populations
The governor is continuing to urge county government partners to do their part and utilize their remaining CARES Act funding ahead of the expiration of those funds, ahead of the December 30th deadline.