BALTIMORE (WMAR) — As Maryland nears 20,000 total COVID-19 positive cases, strides are being made to combat the virus and move forward in the Governor's recovery plan.
"Together we are going to defeat this deadly virus," said Gov. Larry Hogan.
Today, the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital opened up for patients who are recovering. They already have at least 10 patients transferred from local hospitals.
The University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine will co-manage the 250-bed field hospital, staffed with over 1,000 health care workers.
New testing sites are also opening across the state as the Department of Health reports a record high number of test results today.
Two more drive-thru testing sites will open at Vehicle Emissions Inspection Stations in Baltimore and Calvert Counties this week and community testing sites are opening in Baltimore County, at the Liberty Family Resource Center, and in Baltimore City, at Clifton Park.
All these new facilities bring the state steps towards health, safety and normalcy.
Expanding testing capabilities and increasing health care capacity are both essential for the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery plan Hogan laid out Friday.
The other two blocks are ramping up the supply of PPE and building a robust contact tracing operation.
"Having these four building blocks or pillars in place gives us the public infrastructure to try to attack this virus from every direction," said Hogan.
After these pillars are complete and there is a 14-day downward trend in the numbers, Hogan said stage one can start, which is lifting the stay at home order and reopening some small businesses.
"Together the state of Maryland will return stronger and better than ever," said Hogan.
According to the roadmap website, the state is ahead of schedule with increasing the hospital surge capacity and on track with the other three pillars.