|Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, right, speaks during a briefing in Laurel, Maryland, on January 6. (WJZ)|
Officials estimate that Omicron accounts for 90 percent of Covid-19 occurrences in Maryland.
According to state officials, sample test findings reveal that Omicron is responsible for almost 90% of the Covid-19 instances that are on the rise across the state.
"Every 24 hours, as part of our aggressive sequencing program, we are analyzing more samples to detect the Omicron variant," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a press conference Thursday. "As of today, we now estimate that the Omicron variant accounts for approximately 90% of all lab-confirmed cases in the state, as well as 90% of all hospitalized cases," he added.
Hogan, speaking from a new testing site at the University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center, announced the opening of 20 additional testing facilities across the state that would be set up outside hospitals to reroute people away from emergency rooms for Covid-19 tests.
Officials are already witnessing a significant reduction in emergency room visits in hospitals where testing sites have been put up outside, according to Hogan.
According to Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System, who also addressed at the conference, hospitals across the state are noticing a dramatic increase of patients entering with Covid-19.
"Our hospitals in Maryland are under tremendous pressure," he remarked.
Covid-19 patients in the medical system increased from 200 to 800 in a month, according to Suntha.
"Across the medical system, 75% of the people who are currently admitted in our hospitals with Covid-19 are unvaccinated," he stated.
According to Suntha, only about 5% of all Covid-19 patients who are hospitalized are vaccinated and boosted.
Hogan issued a 30-day state of emergency earlier this week, mobilizing 1,000 National Guard members to assist state and local health officials with the state's emergency pandemic response and offer operational support to help open and operate testing centers.