BOSTON (WWLP) – Starting this week Massachusetts hospitals will change the way they report COVID-19 cases.
During the pandemic, Massachusetts hospitals would report the number of COVID-19 patients that they have at their facilities. Due to a recent change, the hospitals will now differentiate between COVID-19 positive patients and those that come into the hospital for other reasons and test positive after they arrive.
The reporting update aims to provide the public with a clearer sense of the severity of the Omicron variant. It also aims to demonstrate how the new cases correlate to severe illness that require hospitalization.
Officials at the Department of Public Health say 93 percent of medical/surgical beds in Massachusetts are occupied and 86 pecent of ICU beds are full, which is a major concern for state leaders at this time.
“When we have people with gunshot wounds admitted to the emergency room at BMC and they’re listed only as COVID patients, we have a bit of a problem,” said House Speaker Ron Mariano.
One thing that health professionals across the state say is a major issue right now is the number of homeless people that go to the ER to be checked for COVID-19. Often times if they have mild symptoms and no where to quarantine, they end up at hospitals in their area.
The legislature is putting pressure on Governor Baker to distribute hundreds of millions of dollars that has been put aside to deal with a surge in cases. The Governor said Monday that he is still working on a plan to spend that money.