Holiday season raising fears as COVID-19 cases mount across state

Hampden County

Coronavirus Resources from the CDC

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – COVID-19 cases continue their upward trend in Massachusetts, nine months into this pandemic.

Nationwide, COVID-19 deaths are now over a quarter million. In Massachusetts, there was a 10 percent increase in infections over the past week.

State health officials continue to link clusters of the virus to large, private gatherings. Dr. Megan Gallagher, a Baystate Health Infectious Diseases Specialist, told 22News if this trend continues, it’ll only get worse for local hospitals.

“All the major healthcare organizations across the country are trying to gear up and prepare,” said Dr. Gallagher. “We do expect to see, over the next few months, to see a rising number of cases particularly as people try to travel and get together.”

“When I look ahead, we are not out of the woods yet,” Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center, warns. “There are going to be more cases, there are going to be more patients hospitalized, and we need to try and pull together now to lessen the negative impact of that.”

As of now, Dr. Roose said they have enough PPE, but the pandemic has been wearing out hospital staff. Baystate Health is currently caring for 74 COVID-19 patients at their hospitals, 64 of which are at Baystate Medical Center.

There are just under 20 COVID-19 patients at Mercy Medical Center.

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