Governor Offers Glimpse Of Recovery From Coronavirus Crisis
Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that it is too soon to start lifting restrictions closing schools and businesses and keeping people at home. But he laid out the steps needed to get to that point.
The recovery plan is made up of four “building blocks,” Hogan said. The state needs to expand its testing capability, with a goal of being able to administer up to 10,000 tests per day. It needs to have 6,000 hospital beds beyond what hospitals had before the public health crisis began. It needs to bolster supplies of personal protective equipment. And Maryland needs to increase its ability to engage in “contact tracing,” finding people who may have been in contact with someone known to have COVID-19.
At the press conference Wednesday afternoon, Hogan announced progress toward those goals, including a new agreement to acquire antibody tests and new field hospital sites in Hagerstown and Tacoma Park. In the last week, the state received 1 million face shields, he said, and in the next week, the state is expecting a delivery of 4.5 million N95 masks.
And there is additional reason for “cautious optimism,” Hogan said, such as hospitalization rates that seem to be stabilizing. But he also emphasized caution.
“We're not one of those states that's kind of over the hump and coming down,” Hogan said, referring to the daily count of confirmed cases of COVID-19. “It's better than we had hoped, and we think we're making a difference. But the worst possible thing that could happen would be for people to say, it's not that bad. Let's go back to normal, and then it will be really bad.”