Elective procedures could be halted by COVID surge

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – New emergency orders for increasingly crowded hospitals in Massachusetts went into effect that could change your next healthcare appointment.

The order requires any hospital or hospital system facing limited patient capacity to reduce or eliminate elective procedures.

The goal of the order is to protect patients and the health care workforce – and to ensure capacity for immediate health care needs. The order was developed by the Baker administration to address what is described as a critical shortage in hospital staffing. currently 88% of the state’s non-intensive care beds are occupied and 81% of ICU beds are full. In Western Massachusetts 947 of our 1,100 non-ICU beds are filled. The state didn’t say which specific hospitals would have to stop elective procedures, just ones with limited patient capacity.

A similar measure was enacted by the Baker Administration last year in the first week of December as the state prepared for a winter surge that remains the peak of the pandemic. Back then hospitals across the state were operating at around 68% capacity. Right now our seven-day average of hospitalized people for covid-19 is 775 people one year ago that number crossed 1000 and the state was working to re-open temporary field hospitals to prepare for the surge.

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