As hospitals in the region and across the country experience an increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus admissions, the state of Maryland announced a series of new mitigation actions, along with preparedness efforts for potential fall and winter COVID-19 and flu surges in Maryland.
Hospitals to utilize additional state funding
RSV hospitalizations are increasing earlier and more rapidly than in previous years, with the 0-2 age group comprising 57 percent of hospitalizations. On Oct. 14, the Maryland Department of Health announced $80 million in additional funding for healthcare providers across the state. Hospitals will receive $25 million and have been directed in award letters issued today to utilize these resources to increase the hiring and recruitment of staff.
Critical Care Coordination Center expanded
To help mitigate an increase in hospital admissions, particularly among children experiencing RSV, Rhinovirus or Enterovirus D68, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems will expand its C4 pediatric surge operations, increase statewide capacity of pediatric ICU beds and facilitate the transfer to available beds in Maryland hospitals and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
State continues COVID-19/flu shot campaign
State officials have further expanded COVIDReady Maryland by adding the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine booster shot for residents five years old and older. In addition, adults now have the option of receiving a Novavax monovalent booster.
To date, more than 710,000 Marylanders have received the COVID-19 bivalent booster, further protecting themselves against severe illness, hospitalization and death. State health officials are encouraging Marylanders to get their COVID-19 and flu shots simultaneously.