As our friends and followers are probably well-informed already, COVID-19 has created a medical crisis in the state of Massachusetts, across the country, and around the world.
We saw another devastating weekend with hundreds of new fatalities attributed to the novel coronavirus. Sweeping the state of Massachusetts for the first time three short months ago, State Officials announced 174 new deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, May 13. The death toll is 5,315, and 1,165 new patients have been added to the the Massachusetts medical system. The statewide total of people that have been infected with COVID-19 to date is 80,497.
In this month the coronavirus has more than doubled the normal rate of death in Massachusetts. Usually, monthly fatality rates stemming from all categories of causes are counted in at around 5,000. The current number of fatalities is 5,315 and climbing.
The good news is that some data suggests that Massachusetts is making progress against the virus. The number of people hospitalized as of Sunday has reduced to numbers not seen since the beginning of April. The 14% average for positive testing has now dropped to only 9% percent within the 11,852 tests that were recently administered.
COVID-19 has taxed our health care system and put it in crisis.
First, healthcare workers involved in direct or indirect support of patient care are at risk of exposure. There have been concerns since the outbreak that our system did not have enough personal protective equipment (“PPE”) to provide a safe standard of protection. If we cannot protect the healthcare workers, we compromise the level of care we can provide patients to take on the virus.
Second, there have been concerns that patients could go untreated because resource constraints limited the availability of ventilatory support. In Italy, this was a big problem. Fortunately, Governor Charlie Baker has been proactive and recently said “I feel very good about where we are with ventilators,”,
Third, patients with conditions other than COVID-19 are concerned with the risks of developing the virus. Accordingly, patients are practicing social distancing and avoiding necessary medical care leading to unnecessary complications.
Fourth, doctors and hospital have inadequate testing available to detect every patient who has or has been exposed to COVID-19. Accordingly, absent adequate testing protocols our health care workes are not able protect the health of patients, their families and the medical community at large.
From all of us at DILLER LAW, we hope you have a healthy, safe, and productive experience during these unique and critical times.