In response to an alarming Covid-19 surge, Governor Larry Hogan announced a 30-day state of emergency for Maryland on Tuesday.
The order comes as Covid-19 hospitalizations in the state surpass 3,000 patients—Hogan says that number could grow beyond 5,000 in the coming weeks. The emergency order is designed to help hospitals and healthcare workers, who are being overwhelmed with new cases, and curb Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Around 1,000 National Guard members will be deployed to hospitals and testing sites across the state, according to the governor, to assist with testing and transport. The National Guard will also assist with opening 20 new testing sites near and in hospitals to help meet the growing demand and redirect people seeking tests from overcrowded emergency rooms.
Governor Hogan has yet to reinstate Maryland’s state-wide mask mandate, though a new order issued on Monday requires masks inside state buildings.
In Montgomery County, officials are considering vaccine passport for indoor venues likes restaurants, bars, theaters, and gyms—similar to the District, which will instate new vaccine mandates on January 15. The proposal, outlined by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, could be voted on as soon as Tuesday, January 11 according to Bethesda Magazine.