SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The leader of Baystate Health addressed the state of COVID-19 at their hospitals Thursday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are much higher than two months ago for Baystate Health, and they say that’s mostly due to the Delta variant, and the lower vaccination rate in this area. Baystate Health hospitals have been hit hard in this 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their CEO and President Mark Keroack, making that clear in a virtual news conference. “We went from 4 cases on the first of July to last weekend to having over 100 cases.”
75 percent of those patients weren’t vaccinated. Dr. Keroack said that’s your best defense from COVID-19, even for those who had the virus.
“There are some people who had COVID and they have immunity which is correct, but the immunity from vaccinations is far better.” Dr. Keroack
Also in this briefing about the state of COVID-19, Dr. Keraock said they are reaching the maximum capacity for beds at their hospitals, so when a COVID-19 patient comes in they may have to wait days for a bed to be available.
Currently, Baystate Health is only allowing one visitor per patient and they also have ramped up the infection control measures, enforcing masks and physical distancing.
“It would be very hard to walk around wearing masks on the chin, without someone telling you to get it together, its a very rigorous enforcement program.” Dr. Keroack
Baystate Health will require all employees to be vaccinated in order to work at their hospitals. 82 percent of its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline for those who aren’t, is October 1st. There has been pushback by some staff members against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and this comes as Baystate Health is struggling to retain a sufficient number of workers.
Baystate Health reports 89 COVID-19 patients
Currently within Baystate Health, there are 89 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 as of Thursday.
Of those numbers reported, 14 are in the critical care unit.
Positive COVID-19 cases within Baystate Health broken up by hospital:
- Baystate Medical Center – 77 confirmed
- Baystate Franklin Medical Center – 2 confirmed
- Baystate Wing Hospital – 5 confirmed
- Baystate Noble Hospital – 5 confirmed