Baystate Health Director outlines challenges during the 4th wave of pandemic

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)-Baystate Health hospitals have been hit hard in this fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their leader and CEO Mark Keroack, made that known in a virtual press conference on Thursday.

“We went from 4 cases in the first of July to the last weekend to have more than 100 cases,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, President and CEO of Baystate Health.

75 percent of those patients were not vaccinated. Dr. Keroack says that this is the best protection from COVID-19, especially for those who have the virus, “There are some people who have COVID-19 and have a complete immunization, but immunity from the vaccine best.”

Dr. Keroack said they are reaching a maximum capacity for beds in their hospitals, so when a COVID-19 patient comes to the hospital they may have to wait days for a bed to be available. Currently, Baystate Health allows visitors only for the patient and they have also increased their infection control methods, mask effect and physical distance.

Dr. Keroack says that “It would be very difficult to walk around wearing masks on a basket, without someone telling you to get together, it is a very difficult maintenance program,” Dr. Keroack said.

Baystate Health will require all staff to be vaccinated in order to work in their clinic. Nearly 82 percent of its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline for non-vaccines is October 1st.

Retirement has been by some workers against the COVID-19 vaccine order and this comes as Baystate Health announced that the employee has been a case of late.

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