By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Johns Hopkins Health System on Wednesday night announced it has activated Crisis Standards of Care Protocols amid rapidly rising COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.

JHBMC said in December, it saw a 360% increase in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, which is the highest increase the hospital has experienced since the start of the pandemic.

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On Wednesday, Maryland surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time during the pandemic, up from its previous peak of 1,952 set in January 2021. The Maryland Hospital Association on Wednesday asked Gov. Larry Hogan to reinstate a limited public health emergency.

Of those currently hospitalized, 1,657 are adults in adult care and 367 are adults in intensive care. There are 15 children in acute care and another seven in the ICU.

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“This decision was not taken lightly,” said Kevin Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen Johns Hopkins Bayview’s census of patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 clinical needs spike dramatically in recent days. Working closely with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Unified Command Center staff, we have agreed that moving to CSC is the right decision.”

The hospital said changes under CSC protocols will allow additional flexibility in how it:

  • Advances different clinical care models
  • Further modifies elective surgical schedules
  • Simplifies documentation requirements
  • Redeploys clinical and non-clinical staff
  • Improves patient flow through measures such as early discharges, when safe and appropriate
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Several other Maryland hospitals are already operating under crisis standards of care, like the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Harford Memorial Hospital and Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

CBS Baltimore Staff