LAUREL — Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday will launch a plan to reopen Maryland when the COVID-19 threat is under control and conditions are safe.
Hogan on Wednesday was at the newly launched Laurel Medical Center, a renovated and reconfigured facility that will provide 135 beds, including 35 intensive care beds, for patients infected with COVID-19.
"Today, we have surpassed 27,000 cases in the national capital region, and 1,159 people have died in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia," Hogan said. "This deadly virus continues to spread in every single jurisdiction in the state."
At that time, the state had 14,775 cases of and 631 deaths from the disease.
The Allegany County Health Department on Wednesday reported 19 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the local total to 82.
All but two of the new cases involve staff and residents at Cumberland Healthcare Center with previously reported cases, ACHD stated in a press release.
The skilled nursing facility offers long-term rehabilitation and care for senior citizens.
Of the facility's roughly 110 residents and 130 employees, 59 have tested positive for the disease.
The two additional cases involve two males in their 30s.
None of the people with new cases of the disease have been hospitalized.
Of 726 people in Allegany County that have been tested for COVID-19, 594 were negative, 82 positive, and 50 results are pending.
Plan includes expanded testing
Hogan said the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery plan, which was developed over many weeks with a coronavirus response team of doctors and public health experts, includes expanded testing and hospital surge capacities, increased Personal Protection Equipment, and a "robust" contact tracing operation.
"Our entire team has been working hard and making incredible progress," he said. "As our numbers start to improve and look better, we will be in a position to safely reopen our state and get people back to work."
Maryland has increased COVID-19 testing capacity by more than 5,000% over the past month, Hogan said.
"We've completed more than 76,000 tests to date," he said.
The governor, who wore to the conference a face mask with the slogan "Maryland Strong" made by Route One Apparel, also thanked small businesses across the state that changed their operations to help fight the pandemic.
"Any institution or any small business or any individual Marylander can be a part of our efforts to save lives and to defeat this hidden enemy," Hogan said.