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Gov. Hogan tests positive for COVID-19

Gov. Larry Hogan has tested positive for COVID-19.

Hogan made the announcement Monday morning on his Twitter account.

“This morning, as part of my regular testing routine, I received a positive rapid test for COVID-19,” Hogan posted on his account. “I have been vaccinated and boosted, and I am feeling fine at the moment.”

A spokesperson for Hogan declined to provide information on how often the governor is tested as part of his routine or if the governor had also taken a PCR test to confirm the results of the rapid test.

Rapid, or antigen tests, measure viral load but can produce false results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test after positive rapid test.

The spokesperson also did not answer questions about testing requirements for members of the governor’s staff or whether other employees or Hogan’s family also were affected.

Hogan’s diagnosis is not the first to reach the executive branch this year.

In August, three members of the governor’s senior staff tested positive for the virus. Some of those who tested positive had recently returned from an annual convention of county government officials held in Ocean City.

Hogan’s Monday announcement comes as the state is seeing a wave of increased hospitalizations related to the virus but also at a moment when a cyberattack has prevented the state from providing daily updates of some COVID-19 data for more than two weeks.

The Maryland Department of Health and Hogan have declined to provide information on the nature of the attack or how long it will be before the state can again post pandemic-related data.

Some local health officials said the lack of data makes it difficult to make predictions on potential hospitalization increases.

Last week, Hogan announced a tiered system of hospitalization levels that would trigger responses from the state and health care providers.

On Wednesday, the state announced the opening of a surge operations center. Hogan said hospitals would reduce nonemergency surgeries that might require overnight stays once the state hits 1,200 hospitalized patients. The state hit that mark last week.

As of Monday, the state reported 1,345 total hospitalizations — the highest number since Feb. 8.

At the 1,500 patient benchmark, hospitals are being ordered to implement pandemic plans.

Hogan, 65, is considered high risk for the more serious effects of the virus because of his age and because of his medical history. The governor announced in  2015 that he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The governor, who has since had a number of skin cancer lesions removed, has not had a recurrence of the blood cancer in more than five years.

A spokesperson did not answer questions about whether Hogan was quarantining within the governor’s mansion of if he continues to work from the residence.