HM Hogan.jpg

Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference to announce the reopening of Laurel Medical Center and other COVID-19 updates on Wednesday. 

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he will unveil plans for the eventual reopening of the state on Friday. But even as he mentioned the recovery plan, the governor reminded residents that the state is not yet ready to reopen.

Before the state can reopen, it needs to meet four building blocks, which the governor laid out last week.

The first step is testing, which the state increased on Monday after Hogan announced that he and his wife Yumi worked with South Korea to obtain 500,000 COVID-19 test kits. The first batch came earlier this week, but more tests arrived from South Korea Wednesday morning, Hogan said.

The state is also working on increasing the amount of personal protective equipment, which includes ordering more n95 and kn95 masks, he said.

The personal protective equipment stockpile in the state is like “digging in the sand,” he said. The state keeps adding to it, but goes through it just as quickly.

The state signed a contract Wednesday morning to increase its contact tracing efforts, one of the building blocks for reopening the state.

The state is also increasing hospital bed capacity to prep for a surge that could come as the state hits its peak. That’s what drew Hogan to Prince George’s County Wednesday afternoon.

Maryland reports deadliest day as COVID-19 related deaths increase by nearly 70

Hogan, along with Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, announced the reopening of Laurel Medical Center. Reopening the hospital adds 135 new beds, including 35 intensive care ones, Hogan said.

"I'm glad that the governor saw what we did and it's a wonderful opportunity to be able to handle the surge as it occurs," Alsobrooks said. "We know that we are really very much in the middle of this."

The hospital, which first opened in 1978, had been downgraded and then shut down.

“But now with its rebirth, it is once again going to help us save lives, not just here in Prince George's County, but throughout the national capital region,” Hogan said.

Even as Hogan and the state work on each building block, the state’s efforts to reopen are still hampered by the number of cases, deaths and hospitalizations reported each day in the state.

Prince George’s County leads the state in cases and deaths with 4,047 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 152 deaths, according to the Prince George’s County Health Department.

Maryland saw another 47 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 631.

It is a smaller increase than was reported Tuesday, which was Maryland's deadliest day in terms of reported deaths. However, 47 new deaths is still one of the highest increases seen in the state since the pandemic began.

Combined with those reported Tuesday, it is Maryland's deadliest 48 hours.

Maryland also saw an increase of 582 confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 14,775. This number does not include some cases reported in multiple counties.

There were also 167 more people hospitalized, meaning there are 1,433 residents currently hospitalized. Of those, about 900 were in acute care and close to 525 were in intensive care.

Nearly 1,000 people have been released from isolation.

In addition to the 631 deaths, there are 67 deaths being reported that are likely from COVID-19.

Frederick County reported an additional two deaths Wednesday evening, bringing the total number of deaths in the county to 42. The two new deaths are a man in his 80s and a man in his 70s, Rissah Watkins, director of planning, assessment and communications for the Frederick County Health Department, said in an email.

There are now 691 cases of COVID-19 in Frederick County, an increase of 38 from Tuesday. That is the highest increase of confirmed cases in the county since April 15.

Of the 631 deaths, the state does not have data available for 100 of them. It is unclear if the 11 deaths reported in Frederick County Tuesday that were not reported by the state are part of that 100 or if they have not yet been reported by the state.

The state has also not included some deaths in at least Prince George’s, Carroll, Howard and Wicomico counties.

There can be lags in reporting between the state and county health departments, said spokesman Charlie Gischlar. Counties may update throughout the day while the Maryland Department of Health reports daily at 10 a.m.

"Some data on deaths may be unavailable due to the time lag between the death, typically reported by a hospital or other facility, and the submission of the complete death certificate. When the death certificate is complete, the data is updated," Gischlar said in an email.

The high number of new deaths is a likely sign that the state is not yet ready to reopen. Dr. Randall Culpepper with the Frederick County Health Department told the News-Post Tuesday that the state was still in an acceleration phase.

For the state to determine if it hit its peak, there needs to be 14 consecutive days of decreases in cases and deaths, Culpepper said. Once those two weeks pass, the state can look back and see that it has hit the peak.

Federal guidelines also suggest a 14-day decrease in hospitalizations before the state can reopen, Hogan previously said.

Even though the state and county have not yet seen consecutive days of decreases in cases and deaths, meeting the criteria in the governor’s building blocks allows the state to look forward.

“With these crucial components now firmly in place, on Friday, we will be introducing our Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, which will lead us safely out of this pandemic,” Hogan said.

Reporter Steve Bohnel contributed to this report.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

(30) comments

awteam2000

Did Trump just ask, “if you inject disinfectant or penetrate the body with an UV light will that prevent the coronavirus?” Did he just say that in front of the world

press, the viewing public and his own scientist trying to guide him - in today’s Coronavirus press briefing? After a pregnant pause, Dr. Birx, said, I don’t think so?

Please, is there a certified ‘Trump Translator’ out there that can tell me what he really meant?

I can send you the tape to dissect.

Funshine

I have no idea if this is what he meant, but I'm guessing maybe he meant he wanted scientists to discover a medicine/vaccine that once injected goes straight for the virus and kills it almost instantly (similarly to how disinfectant kills the virus on surfaces within 10 minutes.) That's the only sane explanation I thought of.

mpkilcoyne

Hogan does Not show respect to the Office of the President of the United States. For a similar Political Party person to criticize, or disagree with another is one thing. Do disagree with the Leader of that Party, is insubordination.

One more thing, people who use personal insults or profanity to express their thoughts, are incapable of intelligent conversation.

Have a Great, Safe, Life.

bosco

"To disagree with the leader of the party is insubordination".... Really? If a few more of the party had been insubordinate with Hitler some of my family in Poland would still be around instead of going up in smoke.

awteam2000

“ use personal insults or profanity to express their thoughts, are incapable of intelligent conversation.” mpkilcoyne, you most be joking, or in jest? You know you are referring to the ‘Imp’ trump, who has no respect for anyone, or anything. He even thinks you are willing to follow him like a rat following the ‘Pied Piper “ ?

I would recommend not following him. Taking 2 Hydroxychloroquine and call me in the morning. But if you do, bye 👋. He just through the governor of Georgia’under the bus’., After encouraging Republican governors to open up the government, Trump now says , Gov. Kemp shouldn’t have open Georgia’s state economy, while at the same time, supporting anti-social distancing protesters in other states. If you see that as leadership, which direction should we go 🤷‍♂️?

It’s not showing disrespect to the ‘Office of the President of the United States’ if the serving president is an ‘idiot’ simply focused on ‘self’ and employing states to find their own way.

Your priorities are screwed up if you are actually complaining about people disrespecting Trump with over 50,000 deaths in 5 weeks and no leadership other than to blame it on others. No guidance but plenty of blame.

You don’t find it awkward that Trump gets on stage with his medical professionals and they all say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? He’s wrong?

Testing tells you what’s going on across the country. In communities like Frederick, States and all across the country. It tells you if the virus is in decline or on the rise. It allows you to take proactive actions to prevent the spread of the virus. it tells you where your efforts are working or not. It identifies areas were it safe to open up business, or not. It could save your butt... If you think it’s disrespectful to get testing kits that you can’t get anywhere else, so be it. It’s way pass time for mass testing, tracing and hopefully containment.

Time to get serious.

francesca_easa

Sorry, but States were asked to try to find their own resources and that they know their own states' needs best. Hogan has handled everything with flying colors and with grace.

btolley

Larry Hogan = my favorite republican.

bosco

According to how you read the headline "Hogan will announce plan to reopen Maryland on Friday" the state of Maryland will reopen Friday! Wahooo.

[lol][lol][lol][ninja]

DeplorableLocalVeteran

There are more important things than living and that’s saving this country.

😳

llrowse

The wording “eventual reopening” should be in your headline. Nothing but fear mongering. Shame on you. Shoddy journalism. Pure garbage

tstright

Hogan is a RINO....

gabrielshorn2013

No, he is not. He just isn't an unrealistic zealot. He knows that he must work with others to get things done, and be effective.

DickD

Amen!

CheetoBenito

According to the members of the "Death Cult".

vodalone

Hogan has support from both sides of the aisle, that makes him unbeatable. Better get used to him bud.

Obadiah Plainsmen

FNP thanks for changing it and combining both articles together plus keeping the comments.

Obadiah Plainsmen

FNP just a thought on your heading. Since covid19 began you have been posting daily reports on the virus. But today you used the heading " Deadliest 48 hours. Reading the article you report " It is a smaller increase than was reported Tuesday, which was Maryland's deadliest day in terms of reported deaths". According to all prediction models This is going to be the deadliest week for Maryland, so to save you time and effort and more effective clickbait I suggest for Sunday edition" Maryland see deadliest week in COVID19 cases".

Jleftwich

Send your resume to jobs@newspost.com.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Why??

patomd969

Earlier I posted a comment asking about number of patients at Frederick Health Hospital with the coronavirus. I also asked if it was true that nurses and health care providers are being laid off at this hospital because of shortage of other inpatients. Was this post deleted?

pretzel

Fear tactic, be smart and we'll get through it. Throw away the panic button, I don't have it, I don't know anyone who has it and they don't know anyone who has it. You can get 80% alcohol sanitizer from local distilleries or online. Stay safe but don't panic

@haydel

You’re a fool. People pay attention to the science. Ignore these naysayers and continue to protect yourself.

steelersfan2005

pretzel said essentially to protect yourself, you're a fool if you didn't understand the comment.

Fiver

I’m sure your words are a comfort to those who have it and those with infected or dead loved ones. It is true we should remain calm, but reporting data is not a fear tactic. Personally, I want news outlets to report the news. I appreciate the information.

FBoard

I found a definition of "news outlet": "a newspaper, television company or other mass media which publishes news stories. Spreading inaccurate information does not befit a news outlet." The problem is that while some spread inaccurate information, all spread incomplete information. They do not report all the data, and what they do present is sensationalized. Try to find the actual/raw data, think for yourself. "news" or "media" outlets are all biased.

Jleftwich

Cite examples from this article. It shouldn't take long: it's only 390 words and about 14 paragraphs, replete with graphs.

Lev928

Fboard is intelligent, and the FNP should be legit scared of commenters like him/her. For real. So should all news-media organizations.

phydeaux994

Most people get their “news” from a variety of sources, both print and TV/radio/online across the political spectrum and can come up with the “truth” with a little reasoning and common sense. It’s the people who put their news sources in a predetermined “slot” and won’t consider any that don’t conform with their predetermined views.

KellyAlzan

Well said Phy, exactly my observation as well.

“Why don’t they tell us how many......” or “you never hear about.......”

That’s because you refuse to go to any of the news sources!

benedictus

Really? You must have a small network. I'm two degrees from 3 dead people that I know of.

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