Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) tweeted Monday morning that he’s tested positive for COVID-19.
The governor, who is vaccinated and boosted, tweeted that he was “feeling fine at the moment.” He encouraged others to get initial vaccinations or booster shots as soon as they are able to.
Hogan’s rapid test result — a PCR test result remains pending — is one of the only publicly known current COVID cases in the state; the Maryland Department of Health has not disseminated data on new COVID-19 cases, mortality or testing since early December as a result of a “network security incident.”
The state has continued to release hospitalization and vaccination data. On Sunday, there were 1,345 currently hospitalized COVID patients, including 301 people in intensive care units. The number of hospitalizations has increased dramatically since Nov. 1, when 568 people were hospitalized with COVID.
On Friday, hospitals in the state began to suspend some elective surgeries that require an overnight stay to deal with overcrowding; if the state’s hospitalizations surpass 1,500, additional policies to free up bed space will go into effect.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Hogan said his administration is focusing on COVID hospitalization and death rates.
“We’ve got hospitalizations up about 150% over the past two weeks, and we’re taking steps to provide more support for our hospitals, and we’re putting more into testing,” Hogan told anchor Bret Baier on a broadcast that aired Sunday morning.
The governor also said he was anticipating “probably the worst surge we’ve seen in our hospitals throughout the entire crisis” as a result of the omicron variant that is believed to be rapidly spreading.
Also during the Fox News appearance, Hogan slammed the decision by the Prince George’s County school board to shift back to virtual learning due to an increase in positive tests. The governor said he has no plans to reimpose pandemic lockdowns amid concerns over surging infection rates.
The Hogan administration has not provided a timeline for when COVID data will once again be published on the Department of Health website.
The security breach involved “unauthorized activity involving multiple network infrastructure systems” and “servers were taken offline to protect the network,” according to the agency.
The state has also said it is “actively engaged with both state and federal law enforcement partners as part of an ongoing criminal investigation” related to the network breach.
A statement on the Department of Health website said there is “no evidence that any data was compromised.”
By Danielle E. Gaines