ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — The Maryland House of Delegates requested Governor Larry Hogan extend Maryland’s state of emergency amid a steady rise in key Covid metrics in the state as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads.

On Thursday, the state reported over 1,000 new Covid cases within 24 hours for the first time since April. Governor Hogan said in an August press conference that nearly 100% of new Covid cases processed were of the Delta variant.

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The state of emergency ended July 1, but some provisions remained in effect for 45 days and will end Sunday.

The Delegates praised Governor Hogan’s early response to the pandemic in the letter, but said: “this is an urgent situation that requires an urgent response.”

“Now is not the time to end the stated public health emergency – not only because of the limitations it will put on our State response but also because of the message that it sends to the public at large about the urgency of this situation, particularly as we prepare to send our children back to school,” the letter read.

The delegates placed emphasis on how the end of the state of emergency would impact healthcare systems such as adult care and Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth services.

We need to continue the administrative rate for medical adult day care centers until they can re–open, census can be restored, and the industry can be stabilized,” the letter read. “Discontinuation will severely impact the ability of these centers to continue operations to serve our most vulnerable citizens.”

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The rise in Covid cases has heightened the need for telehealth services for vulnerable residents, many of whom might be unvaccinated, the Delegates said.

“This resurgence requires the remote delivery of all types of behavioral health services, and it is clear that this population is fearful of entering facilities and are likely to be unvaccinated,” the letter read.

Read the full letter here:

 

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CBS Baltimore Staff