With the new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 raging across the county, here in Maryland we are oblivious of what is going on in our state. That’s because the Maryland Health Department hasn’t updated its COVID-19 Data Dashboard since December 3. The reason? According to the Maryland Department of Health, they are experiencing a “server outage” issue, whatever that means. According to Governor Larry Hogan, the Maryland Department of Health was the victim of a cyber attack.
The cyber attack/server outage hasn’t stopped the Maryland Department of Health from posting daily updates on how many Marylanders are hospitalized for COVID-19. That metric is getting updated daily. Coincidently, it’s also the least useful of all the metrics. That’s because you are not able to drill down and learn how many COVID-19 patients are in each hospital. When it comes to COVID-19, you want to know what’s going on in your local community. When it comes to hospitalizations, I want to know what’s going on at my local hospital, Meritus Medical Center.
Luckily for me, Meritus is posting information, Monday through Friday. As of yesterday, we have 71 people hospitalized for COVID-19. Of that number, 80% if them are unvaccinated.
The Maryland Heath Department is not only failing to post daily updates on its own website, it’s not submitting information to the CDC either. That seems like a big deal to me.
There’s no valid reason for not posting up-o-date information about COVID-19. People are getting tested every single day. Most people test negative for COVID-19. Some people are testing positive. The Maryland Department of Health should be able to share that percentage on a daily basis. Even if they are experiencing a “server outage” problem, and all the IT personal forgot how to swap out the faulty servers and load the backups, this info could be posted on Twitter or Facebook.
For whatever reason, the Maryland Department of Health is choosing not to do that. Just like they are choosing not to update the CDC.
This server outage/cyber attack blackout seems very sketchy to me. When it comes to the Larry Hogan administration, I don’t believe anything without evidence. The blackout has worked out swimmingly for Larry Hogan. His hands-off style of leadership concerning COVID-19 has been highly irresponsible and ineffective at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Without up-to-date COVID-19 information, the public cannot see how poorly he has been at slowing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
My guess is the blackout will continue until sometime after Christmas.