By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team
Governor Larry Hogan provided an update on Maryland’s vaccination initiatives as well as other COVID-19 items during a press conference Thursday. His update included information about visitation policies for hospitals and nursing homes, vaccine administration, and plans for additional mass vaccination sites across the state.
Limited visitation is to resume at Maryland hospitals and nursing homes per Maryland Department of Health (MDH) orders. Each hospital will set its own visitation policy, which must comply with CDC guidelines. Indoor visitation at nursing homes may resume as early as March 1, 2021, as long as facilities do not have active cases and follow proper testing protocols.
The Governor announced that Maryland has created the infrastructure to administer between 50,000 and 100,000 doses of vaccine per day as more vaccines become available. The current record number of vaccines administered in one day in Maryland is 26,179.
A mass vaccination site will open at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday, February 25, making it the third mass vaccination site in Maryland. Hogan reported that additional sites are planned to open in March in the Western, Southern, and the Eastern Shore regions of the state. The exact locations of these sites have not yet been released.
In order to facilitate better planning, Governor Hogan directed state health officials to provide county leaders with four-week projections for vaccine allotments for their local health department clinics.
In Garrett County, COVID-19 vaccination appointments with the Garrett County Health Department are already fully booked for February. Allotments for March are currently being reviewed and vaccination clinics are being planned for March. Registration links will be available on garretthealth.org beginning in late February. At that time, appointments will be open for March clinics for Garrett County residents not yet vaccinated from Phase 1A and 1B, as well as Garrett County residents who are at least age 65.
It was also announced during the Governor’s press conference that MDH and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) have launched a program to provide up to 1 million COVID-19 tests for both public and non-public schools. Testing supplies will be provided in proportion to the number of students and staff returning for in-person learning this school year. Schools will be able to opt-in to this voluntary program.
Each Maryland county was asked to appoint an equity officer to serve as a liaison to the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force in order to closely coordinate equity initiatives, including working with local partners to stand up mobile clinics to reach critical populations.
Additional COVID-19 resources:
? If you have COVID-19 like symptoms, schedule a testing appointment at the Health Department by calling 301-334-7697.
? Free COVID-19 testing is available (with or without symptoms) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park. Pre-registration is recommended. Visit garretthealth.org for more information.
? For all other COVID-19 related questions, or to report a COVID-19 compliance issue, call the local COVID-19 Hotline number at 301-334-7698.