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Governor Hogan announces universal COVID-19 testing for Maryland’s correctional, juvenile facilities

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced that, as part of the state’s long-term testing strategy, Maryland will begin universal COVID-19 testing at all state-run correctional and juvenile facilities. The governor also announced that:

  • The state is delivering more than 20,000 tests per week to nursing homes.
  • The state’s Public Health Laboratory is producing up to 10,000 tubes of viral transport media on a weekly basis to overcome supply chain challenges and boost testing resources.
  • Maryland is distributing more than 33,000 additional swabs to local jurisdictions to help boost local testing capacity.

Our state continues to make significant progress on all four of the necessary building blocks for our recovery, including on our long-term strategy to dramatically expand testing for COVID-19 across the state,” said Governor Hogan. “To continue our aggressive efforts to target and isolate any outbreaks and clusters of cases, we will complete distribution of universal testing for nursing home residents and staff this month, and begin universal testing at all state-run correctional and juvenile facilities. Additionally, we are producing viral transport media to overcome supply chain challenges and boost our testing resources.”

On Tuesday, Governor Hogan announced that the state hit a critical milestone in its long-term testing strategy and now has the capacity and supplies to offer testing to Marylanders who may have been exposed to the disease even if they do not have symptoms. With this progress, the state will soon begin no-cost, appointment-free testing at drive-thru sites in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County, and the governor issued an executive order authorizing the state’s pharmacies to order and administer COVID-19 tests.

To expand on previous prioritized testing that has been done at these facilities, Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to work with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) to conduct universal COVID-19 testing for their populations, including all staff.

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To meet Governor Hogan’s goal of testing all nursing home residents and staff, Col. Eric Allely, Special Safety and Compliance Officer, and his team are distributing up to 3,000 tests per day and more than 20,000 tests per week. Distribution of tests to all 227 nursing home facilities in the state is on track to be completed by the end of next week.

To boost testing resources and overcome global supply chain challenges, scientists at the MDH Laboratories Administration have begun making tubes of viral transport media (VTM) at the state’s Public Health Laboratory. The laboratory is currently able to produce up to 10,000 tubes of VTM per week.

To boost local testing capacity, Governor Hogan has directed MDH to immediately distribute one-third of the most recent federal shipment of swabs and viral transport media to local jurisdictions in order to supplement ongoing testing resources. This amounts to more than 33,000 swabs and 2,000 tubes of viral transport media. Local health officials are encouraged to request additional supplies.

To further supplement local efforts, MDH is distributing more than 10,000 tests per week for use in local jurisdictions. This includes more than 4,500 tests at community-based and VEIP sites, as well as direct allocations of nearly 6,000 tests per week to local health departments based on population size. Local health officials are encouraged to request additional supplies.

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