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COVID hospitalizations spiking in Maryland


Maryland health officials reported 1,027 COVID-19 hospitalizations Friday morning. It’s the first time hospitalizations have surpassed 1,000 since April.

Dr. Clare Rock, an infectious diseases physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine, noted that the number of intensive care patients is also on the rise. It surpassed 200 earlier this week.

“This is concerning for the community at large, and also for the health care system in caring for people across the state that have COVID-19 as well as other medical conditions,” Rock said.

She said the most effective way to overcome this latest spike in cases is to get both your COVID-19 vaccines and your booster.

“These are widely available across the state,” Rock said.

The state health department is directing hospitals to maximize their ICU bed capacity. Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday that he will introduce emergency legislation when the General Assembly returns next month to address staffing shortages.

The state health department has not updated several COVID-19 metrics after a cyber attack forced its website to shut down this weekend. The latest positivity rate, from Dec. 3, is 5.43%.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.