Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has announced expanded COVID-19 testing supplies for schools, resumption of limited visitation at hospitals and nursing homes, and expansion of the state’s vaccination network – once supply issues are resolved.
“The basic problem is pretty simple – we need more damn vaccines,” Hogan said Thursday.
Hogan said the state would make about 1,000,000 tests available to public and non-public schools that are open, or plan to re-open for in-person learning in the current academic year. The state will provide rapid antigen point-of-care and diagnostic testing supplies, based upon the number of students and staff returning for in-person learning.
The Maryland Health Department also will issue orders to allow limited visitation to resume at hospitals and nursing homes.
Each hospital will establish its own policies, which will be required to comply with CDC guidelines. Indoor visitation at nursing homes could resume as early as March 1st, if facilities do not have active cases of coronavirus and are following the proper protocols.
On the matter of mass vaccination sites, Hogan announced locations for the Eastern Shore, southern Maryland and western Maryland are being finalized. These additional sites will be ready to open in March, subject to when higher allocations of vaccines are available.