Maryland governor, Larry Hogan Calls For 30-day State of Emergency


JoJo Okrah, Associate Editor-In-Chief

   Gov. Larry Hogan, who has been Maryland governor since 2015, has announced that Maryland will go into a 30-day state of emergency and authorized new executive orders to try to combat the rapidly rising COVID cases. 

   The number of cases are increasing at an alarming rate, especially during this winter season. The governor describes this as the “winter surge.” On Dec. 28 there had been 3,0657 hospitalizations due to the virus, an all-time high for Maryland, and more than a 500% increase in the past 2 months. Hogan anticipates that the next 4-6 weeks will be “the most challenging” phase of the pandemic we’ve been facing for almost two years. 

   The winter surge has overwhelmed hospitals’ normal operations. Executive director at Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services, Dr. Ted Delbridge, says that numerous hospitals have delayed non-vital surgeries and currently nine hospitals are operating under crisis standards of care. Maryland is among the states with the highest rates of COVID-19 hospitalization per 100,000 people.

   Hogan says he will not bring back the state-wide mask mandate because of its difficulty to enforce. However, he advises businesses to encourage boosters and mask-wearing to customers. His main focus is to prevent deaths and to keep people out of hospitals.

   The governor has signed off on two new executive orders to hopefully stop the spread. The first one allows the Maryland Department of Health secretary to direct and speedily transfer patients between hospitals and create more alternate medical facilities. The second one is to aid the EMT force that has also been hit overwhelmingly by the surge.