Hospital capacity in eastern Massachusetts filling up quickly

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hospitals across the state are filling up quickly with COVID-19 patients and officials are worried that space is running out.

The state’s average number of patients hospitalized with the virus has more than doubled in the past month.

There are currently more than 2,100 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the commonwealth.

Hospitals are nearing capacity in the eastern part of the state and Baystate CEO and president, Dr. Mark Keroack said he is concerned about that happening here in western Massachusetts.

“We currently have 150 patients with COVID within the health system both the Springfield campus and community hospitals. We have a surge plan that would allow us to accept another 150 more but that would certainly stretch our staff,” said Keroack.

Staffing as it is at Baystate is down with employees either out with COVID-19 or awaiting results.

In the meantime, the hospital is vaccinating between 500 and 800 employees a day.

With millions traveling for the holidays, Dr. Keroack expects to see another jump in hospitalizations which will continue to stretch its staff.

“I think that most people that look at these mathematical models think that the middle part of January could be the worst of this epidemic and we are still on the other side of that, still worried about it and don’t know how high it’s going to go,” said Keroack.

Dr. Keroack told me that he still doesn’t think it’s needed to have a field hospital in western Massachusetts.

There is one in Worcester, and he said that it is under-occupied and overstaffed.

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