Maryland hospitals to cut back on some surgeries amid COVID spike

Some patients could potentially be transferred
COVID-19 hospitalizations
Posted at 11:09 AM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 10:42:36-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — As new COVID-19 cases continue to climb nationwide, Maryland is continuing to warn hospitals of a potential surge.

State health officials have issued a directive for specific actions to be taken if COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state reach certain levels.

In the event that number reaches 1,200 — hospitals will be asked to reduce the scheduling of non-urgent surgeries that require overnight stays.

RELATED: Maryland hospitals told to prepare for potential COVID-19 surge

At 1,500 — hospitals would immediately implement their pandemic plans which would shake up staffing plans and potentially result in some patients being transferred to alternate care sites.

Here is a complete step-by-step list of what hospitals are expected to do once the 1,500 patient threshold is met.

  • Optimize existing bed capacity
  • Adjust hospital capacity, such as bringing additional staffed beds into service
  • Redeploy staff or alter staffing models
  • Reduce non-urgent and elective procedures and surgeries
  • Transfer patients to Alternate Care Sites
  • Bridge idle clinical or administrative space online or convert other space for clinical care

Maryland’s Board of Physicians, have also approved emergency regulations to allow temporary licensees for retired state healthcare professionals, and restrictions that prevent interstate compact or out-of-state health care workers from practicing in Maryland.

The Maryland General Assembly still has to sign off on the measure.

As of December 23, there are 1,505 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19.