Gov. Larry Hogan enacts ‘aggressive’ measures to protect nursing homes, staff amid COVID-19 outbreak

An additional executive order was enacted Sunday by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to aggressively combat the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in Maryland nursing homes.

Read Hogan’s executive here.

Effectively immediately, according to Hogan’s press release, all Maryland nursing home staff who interact with residents are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including a face mask, appropriate eye protection, gloves and gowns.

The governor’s Sunday-afternoon directive requires Maryland nursing facilities to “use the most expeditious means available for testing,” which includes a Covid-19 test kit provided by the state laboratory or another lab to send specimens to the state laboratory for expedited testing for residents and staff.

In addition, nursing facilities must designate a unit of staff who are assigned to care for known or suspected Covid-19 residents.

The governor’s executive order mandates nursing facilities to “adjust and strengthen their policies, protocols, and procedures in line with all state and federal guidance related to Covid-19.”

Anyone who violates the order, according to the governor’s release, is guilty fo a misdemeanor and upon conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year, or a fine not exceeding $5,000 – or both.”

As of Sunday afternoon, Maryland has 3,609 confirmed cases of Covid-19, a 484-person increase in the last 24-hours.

To date, 67 Marylanders have died from Covid-19 complications.