ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan today announced the opening of a FEMA-supported mass vaccination site in Southern Maryland, in addition to expanded surveillance of COVID-19 variants, an executive order requiring face coverings in schools, and a warning regarding vaccine fraud in Maryland.
“Following both the federal and state vaccination plans, we continue to broaden the distribution network to ensure as many points of access as possible in every single county,” said Governor Hogan. “We are utilizing every single dose we are allocated, and building an infrastructure with the capability of doing up to 100,000 shots per day, just as soon as they are made by the manufacturers and allocated to us by the federal government.”
NEW FEMA-SUPPORTED MASS VACCINATION SITE IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND: Governor Hogan announced that the fourth state-run mass vaccination site will open no later than March 11 at Regency Furniture Stadium in Charles County. At the state’s request, the Southern Maryland mass vaccination site will be supported by FEMA, which will provide more than 100 personnel—including trained vaccinators—to help staff the site and provide technical assistance. The Southern Maryland mass vaccination site will be capable of administering thousands of shots per day as more supply becomes available.
• More than 10,000 appointments have been made for the state’s third mass vaccination site, which opens Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore City. In the coming weeks, the state will also open mass vaccination sites on the Eastern Shore and in Western Maryland.
• In March, the state will launch a pre-registration appointment site for state-run mass vaccination sites.
EXPANDED SURVEILLANCE OF CORONAVIRUS VARIANTS: Governor Hogan announced that the state has entered into agreements with the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University to more than double the state’s surveillance of coronavirus variants to screen more than 10% of cases—the level recommended by public health experts. The Maryland Public Health Laboratory is already testing for these variants at a much higher rate than other states by using genomic sequencing to track virus mutations. This new partnership will give Maryland one of the strongest surveillance systems in the country and the world.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON ALLOCATIONS EXPECTED AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK: Governor Hogan announced that the states have been notified to expect allocations of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine—which is being made here in Maryland—as early as next week. The states are awaiting further guidance from the federal government.
EXECUTIVE ORDER REQUIRING FACE COVERINGS IN SCHOOL SETTINGS: To further support the safe reopening of schools, Governor Hogan has issued an executive order clarifying that face coverings are required for anyone over the age of five in any area of a school setting where interaction with others is likely, including classrooms, hallways, cafeterias, auditoriums, and gymnasiums. Read the executive order.
WARNING ON VACCINE FRAUD: Governor Hogan warned Marylanders that there are increasing reports of fraud related to vaccines, and reiterated that no one can charge for a vaccine or a vaccination. Marylanders who suspect fraudulent activity are urged to notify law enforcement immediately.