Hogan announces 6 new hospital-based COVID testing sites, new nursing home policies

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the state would be opening six additional hospital-based COVID-19 testing sites in the near future to help avoid overcrowding in hospitals and emergency rooms.

Last week, Hogan announced the launch of 10 hospital-based COVID-19 testing sites, which are now fully operational.

Speaking Thursday at an in-progress hospital testing site at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center, Hogan said that those 10 sites had already proven to be effective at reducing wait times in hospitals.

He said the six new sites will be located at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional, Garrett Regional Medical Center, Holy Cross General Hospital, Baltimore Washington Medical Center and UM Shore Medical Center.

“Our team is working around the clock to launch these sites in the coming days,” Hogan said. “They are all expected to be fully operational by the end of next week.”

New nursing home COVID testing policies

Around 70% of Maryland nursing homes have reported positive COVID-19 cases among staff and residents. In response to these high rates, Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Health has ordered staff and vendors to get tested twice a week while community transmission is high. Visitors will also have to show proof of a negative test before entering a nursing facility.

“While we want people to continue to be able to visit their loved ones, we will do everything in our power to ensure that they can do so safely,” Hogan said.

Hogan also announced Thursday that the National Guard would be delivering courses of the antiviral medication Remdesivir to Maryland pharmacies that serve nursing homes.

Maryland to distribute 20 million masks

Hogan also announced Thursday that the state would distribute 20 million N95 and KN95 masks to residents at no charge.

He said the effort to distribute the masks would be coordinated with the national guard and that the masks would go out through “multiple channels.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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