As Maryland nears one year since its first confirmed case of COVID-19, Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced an agreement to boost the state's ability to monitor new strains of the virus.

The state has entered into agreements with the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine to double its sequencing capacity. The state will now be able to screen and sequence 10% of all coronavirus cases.

"If Maryland were a country, it would rank us sixth in the world" in disease surveillance, Hogan said at a news conference.

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The South African, United Kingdom and Brazilian variants of the virus are all present in Maryland.

"The presence of these variants makes it even more clear that the vaccination campaign is a race between vaccines and variants," Hogan said.Read more at WBAL