ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan announced all hospital visitations are prohibited until further notice as Maryland coronavirus hospitalizations Tuesday jumped past 1,000 for the first time since early June.

Hospitalizations in the U.S. surged to its highest level ever this week.

Gov. Hogan said even with the additional 6,000 beds they provided, many Maryland hospitals are still reaching capacity.

“We are very concerned that hospitals in western Maryland for example are already at their capacity limit, and 19 hospitals across the state are above 90% capacity,” Gov. Hogan said.

The exceptions to the no visitors rule are compassionate care, guardians of minors, obstetrics and support for patients with disabilities.

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People are also being asked to avoid any elective procedures that are not urgent or life-saving or if they are likely to require prolonged ventilation ICU admissions, or may have a high probability of requiring post-hospital care in a nursing facility.

“We do not want Marylanders to put off life-saving treatments, or surgeries,” Gov. Hogan said. “But our highest priority right now is preserving capacity at our hospitals, so that our doctors and nurses can do their jobs, and make sure that people get the right critical life-saving treatment to help us meet that goal.”

The Department of Health is issuing an emergency order allowing hospitals that are full or near capacity limits to transfer patients to hospitals that are able to give them the care that they need.

They are also limiting nursing home visitation. Indoor visitation will be generally limited to compassionate care visits, and all visitors must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test from at least 72 hours before they visit.

“I realize that this is very difficult, especially at this time of the year to be unable to see your grandparents or your loved ones, but please note that by refraining from visits at this time you are helping keep them safe, and to save the lives of our most vulnerable,” Gov. Hogan said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff

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