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Hogan: More at-home COVID-19 tests, 10 state-run testing sites coming to Maryland

Health professionals believe 90% of positive COVID-19 tests in Maryland are the omicron variant.

LAUREL, Md. — Maryland is on track to open 10 new hospital-based testing sites by the end of next week, the governor said Thursday, 

Gov. Larry Hogan made the announcement outside University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center in Prince George's County, which will soon have a testing center.

Here's a complete list of sites that will open daily for walk-up testing:

  • University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center in Laurel
  • University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata
  • University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo
  • Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham
  • Meritus Health in Hagerstown
  • Frederick Health in Frederick
  • Johns Hopkins in Baltimore
  • University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore
  • MedStar St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown and
  • Northwest Hospital in Randallstown.

In addition to these sites, the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center started operating this week for state-run testing. 

Hogan also announced the state is partnering with the federal government to open a FEMA-supported testing site at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore. 

Since a testing site opened at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, Hogan says hospitalizations dropped 72%. He hopes the testing sites will ease the burdens facing hospitals and emergency rooms with COVID-19 soaring in Maryland.

According to Hogan, the state has "an abundant supply of PRC tests," is distributing one million at-home testing kits through local health departments. Maryland Health Department is also in the process of distributing 500,000 at-home testing kits to local health departments next week, the governor said. 

"Every 24 hours, as part of our aggressive sequencing program, we are analyzing more samples to detect the omicron variant," Hogan said. 

He said health professionals say 90% of the positive COVID-19 tests analyzed by health professionals are believed to be the omicron variant. He added, that 90% of those hospitalized are also believed to have the omicron variant. 

In the last month, University of Maryland Medical System facilities have cared for about 800 patients and about 75% of the patients are unvaccinated, according to Mohan Suntha, the president and CEO of UMMS. Suntha said less than 5% of patients are fully vaccinated and boosted which speaks to the effectiveness of the vaccines in fighting serious illness.

Maryland is experiencing a rise in children who are hospitalized for COVID-19, Suntha said. He urged parents to make sure to get children who are eligible—5-years-old and up—vaccinated and boosted. 

Hogan said he is excited children 12-15 can now receive a booster shot. 

"The vaccines and the boosters work," he said.

When asked about the possibility of a state-run testing site coming to Montgomery County, the largest county in Maryland, Hogan said he thinks that is something that is "in the works."

"We'd love to have one in Montgomery County," Hogan said. 

Hogan said the federal government hasn't provided governors with any updates on the at-home tests that can be delivered straight to people's homes.  

It's been almost three weeks since Hogan announced he tested positive for COVID-19

"I feel great," he says. "My wife had me on lockdown." 

Hogan says he was isolated in a room for 10 days, but First Lady Yumi Hogan would leave him some food.  

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