Healthcare workers in healthcare facilities will be required to be vaccinated or undergo frequent testing.
Governor Larry Hogan has announced a new set of vaccine protocols for people who work at the state's hospitals and nursing homes. To help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus delta variant, employees will have to provide proof of vaccination or be screened and tested for coronavirus at least once a week.
The delta variant of the coronavirus has caused to case rates jump across the country. On August 19, the positivity rate increased to 5.04% in the state of Maryland after hovering around 2% throughout the summer.
The U.S. government announced it would be authorizing booster shots for people who received their second shot (8 months prior) starting in September. Requiring employees to be vaccinated will help protect some of the most vulnerable Marylanders, including people living in nursing homes. Healthcare workers will have until September 1 to get their first dose of the vaccine.
In a presentation announcing the new requirements, nursing homes with the highest and lowest vaccination rates were listed. Only three care centers, Manor Care Health Services in Chevy Chase, Maplewood Park Place, and Maryland Baptist Aged Home have 100% of employees vaccinated.
Nursing homes that do not comply will be subject to doubled fines and higher civil penalties. Governor Hogan also announced a new pilot program that will test antibodies to determine the level of immunity among nursing home residents.
Many private hospitals and businesses in Maryland have also elected to require employees to be vaccinated in the past month. Governor Hogan issued similar vaccine protocols for all employees working in state facilities and encouraged people to "just get the damn vaccine."
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