BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Gov. Larry Hogan allowed Maryland's coronavirus state of emergency to expire Sunday despite pleas from some Democrats who wrote to him that it is still needed.
The state of emergency kept the Maryland National Guard activated and allowed the governor to call for a statewide mask mandate if necessary. Provisions that allowed doctors and nurses to practice with expired or out-of-state licenses to alleviate shortages are ending along with forgiveness for expired driver's licenses.
The governor previously said the state's response to the virus will not end with his emergency orders.
"I want to make sure that I stress that it's not mission accomplished. The battle is not over. We're transitioning from a state of emergency to an ongoing operation," the governor said on June 15.
Since those comments, cases have again spiked due to the Delta variant, and Maryland is desperately trying to get people vaccinated. The state brought the vaccine to Sandy Point State Park in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, which was packed on this summer weekend.
Karen Otrosina had been hesitant but decided it was time to get her shot while she was there.
"I would hold off and hold off, but I just kind of realized my chances of getting it were kind of increasing," Otrosina told WJZ. "I drive a school bus so I wanted to get vaccinated before school went back."
In Maryland, 79.2% of adults have received at least one dose. The state is one of the most vaccinated in America. Cases have still risen sharply over the past week.
In Baltimore City, infections are up 656% in the past month. The biggest increase in positivity during that period is in ZIP codes 21223 and 21230.
While hospitalizations are up, there are still 223 acute care beds available in the city with COVID-19 patients using 3% of them. There are 69 intensive care beds available, with 7% occupied by COVID-19 patients as of Sunday, according to Baltimore's COVID-19 dashboard.
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