Sarbanes, Maryland Congressional Delegation Urge FEMA to Quickly Accept State Request for Field Hospitals in Baltimore
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined Maryland’s Congressional Delegation in urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to approve the state's request for two federal medical stations in Baltimore. These units would increase Maryland’s hospital capacity by 300 beds and deliver approximately 1,096 ventilators.
“Maryland is actively planning, preparing and operating off of several models led by Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland. These models project a significant surge in infections in the state over the next few months, even after taking several actions and interventions to combat the spread of COVID-19,” the lawmakers wrote. “While Maryland is quickly moving to stand up additional sites in existing facilities, hospitals and clinics, the gap in available beds will still exist and requires immediate federal assistance.”
See below for the full letter.
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March 24, 2020
The Honorable MaryAnn Tierney
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III
615 Chestnut Street
One Independence Mall, Sixth Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
Dear Regional Administrator Tierney:
We write in strong support of the urgent request to you from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) regarding the ongoing outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). MEMA is requesting immediate support for the activities of Maryland’s Hospital Surge Capacity Activation Task Force. In particular, MEMA is requesting two federal medical stations (FMS), consisting of one 250-bed package and one 50-bed package, for a total of 300 additional beds, as well as approximately another 1,096 ventilators. These FMS packages would be used to establish a temporary medical station or field hospital in the Baltimore Convention Center.
Maryland’s task force is operating on the projection of the need for an additional 6,000 beds. As of March 22, 2020, roughly 2,000 beds have been identified and allocated for patients leaving a gap of approximately 4,000 beds. The current hospital bed baseline in Maryland is about 10,000 beds, however, they do not all have the capability for acute/advance care. While Maryland is quickly moving to stand up additional sites in existing facilities, hospitals, and clinics, the gap in available beds will still exist and requires immediate federal assistance.
Additional ventilators are urgently needed to augment and support the State's mission to ensure current and future patients are provided the appropriate level of care. This equipment will support breathing for patients with respiratory difficulties and augment and support the State's mission to ensure current and future patients are provided the appropriate level of care. Federal assistance would increase the State's capacity to treat the sick and help mitigate or lessen the spread of COVID-19. It would ensure that those with COVID-19 can be treated effectively, while providing patient safety for those patients who do not have the disease.
The State of Maryland is leveraging established partnerships in all sectors to ensure high quality medical care is available for all Maryland patients. Maryland is actively planning, preparing, and operating off of several models led by Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the University of Maryland. These models project a significant surge in infections in the state over the next few months, even after taking several actions and interventions to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Maryland continues to play a unique and critical role in the continuity of government of the United States as part of the National Capitol Region (NCR), given the many federal employees who work, live and commute at federal agencies and facilities in Maryland and surrounding jurisdictions. Federal assistance in this case would help preserve the continuity of government by protecting the health of all Marylanders, including those who are putting their lives on the line every day working to combat COVID-19 and safeguard the well-being of all Americans.
Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request. We request an immediate response.
Cc: FEMA Director, DHS Secretary, WH Task Force Director, VP Pence