PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. — Due to a significant increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, CalvertHealth is implementing crisis protocols beginning today, December 29. Since December 1, CalvertHealth has experienced a 567% increase in treating admitted COVID patients – from 3 patients in the beginning of December to 20 today. This rise in COVID patients in addition to the number of other patients coming to the Emergency Room and others requiring hospitalization combined with current staff shortages required CalvertHealth to move to crisis protocols for the safety of our workforce and our patients.

“We have enacted our emergency plan of action and shifted to crisis protocols after careful consideration,” stated President and CEO Dean Teague. During this time, CalvertHealth has delayed non-urgent surgeries, altered care deliver to extend staff into critical areas and expand its ICU capacity, limited visitors into the hospital and its practices, and worked with local and state officials to broaden COVID testing for the community. “We will continue to work with local government, state officials and others to strategize next steps,” Teague concluded.  

CalvertHealth joins many other hospitals across the state also transitioning to contingency or crisis standards of care protocols. These protocols are used in times of emergency when the demand for health care pushes the limit or exceeds the ability of the health system to provide it.

“Our healthcare workers are working as hard as they possibly can to care for each and every member of our community. We are committed to doing our part, now we need the community’s support and assistance” said Teague.

There are a number of ways the community can assist in the effort to avoid a surge in the hospital. These include:  Use the hospital Emergency Room (ER) for TRUE emergencies; Call your doctor or urgent care for non-life threatening issues; Get vaccinated and boosted; Wear masks, social distance and wash hands frequently. 

“We need to keep the ER available to those in our community requiring emergent care. Please do not come to the ER to be tested/treated for COVID unless you are experiencing trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; or the inability to wake or stay awake,” said Teague.

Any community members who have not yet received a vaccine or those eligible for a booster dose can schedule an appointment online: https://www.calvertcountymd.gov/vaccine or https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine