How local hospitals are preparing for the flu season

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the flu season approaching, there are concerns for a rise of infections, for both influenza and COVID-19.

The flu season and a second wave of COVID-19 are expected to hit around the same time. Baystate Health and Mercy Medical Center believe they’ll be ready for both.

“We recognize that more infections can come in the fall and winter as a second wave.”

As of Sunday, September 20, 9,100 people in Massachusetts have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March.and health experts expect a resurgence of this virus with the colder months ahead.

Springfield has already seen 22 more infections since the first week of September.

Right now in the U.S., we’re at about 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, and health experts warn that could double by the end of the year, so a second wave is likely. Local hospitals like Baystate are preparing for this as well as as the flu season.

“All hospitals in the state have been reserving beds, about 20 percent of our bed capacity in case a surge comes. we have been ramping up our testing capacity and have been improving treatment so less people are likely to need the hospital.” Dr. Mark Keroack · President & CEO at Baystate Health

“We’re looking at expanding our testing for other respiratory illnesses and COVID. Encouraging and in some cases, requiring vaccination for influenza. We’re making sure our providers and our teams are well equipped so they can deal with both.” Dr. Robert Roose – chief medical officer At Mercy Medical Center

Doth Dr. Roose and Dr. Keroack said its critically important this year to get the flu vaccine to prevent yourself from contracting influenza during the COVID pandemic, or at least lower the severity of symptoms.

Diligent mask wearing will help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and the flu. It’s recommended you get your flu shot by the end of October. It takes two weeks for your body’s immune system to develop the antibodies to fight off the virus.

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