Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for hospital and nursing home staff. Under the orders, employees must have at least a first dose by Sept. 1, or face regular screening and testing.
Maryland hospitals, of course, led early on vaccination. In June, UMMS and JHHS simultaneously announced they would require COVID vaccines for employees. The same day, MHA issued a fieldwide consensus statement calling for vaccination of all hospital workers. Already, hospitals that employ 95% of our state’s hospital workforce have activated or announced policies requiring vaccination.
The Maryland hospital community took this first-in-the-nation, voluntary initiative to protect patients, employees, and the wider population. And this remains your focus.
During our statewide member call last week, a participant likened the current situation to “Groundhog Day.” And in many ways it is. COVID cases are again surging, and the patients entering hospitals this time are younger and sicker.
Both physical capacities and the emotions of hospital workers are strained.
Now, you’re preparing for a potential surge in pediatric COVID patients. And you continue to take extraordinary steps to vaccinate your communities and shore up monoclonal antibody treatments.
Maryland hospitals, as they have for 18 months, are relentlessly leading our state through this pandemic – having treated and released more than 45,100 COVID patients to date.
As more Marylanders get vaccinated, let’s hope we really do see the beginning of the end.
President & CEO