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WORCESTER (CBS) — A major hospital in Central Massachusetts is on “elevated alert status” after an influx of new COVID patients, including some that are critically ill. UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester said Tuesday that it’s seeing very high volume and increased wait times, “putting an enormous strain” on the hospital’s resources.
In less than a week, the hospital has gone from 35 COVID cases to 54.
“Fueled by the Delta variant, COVID has made a resurgence,” UMass Memorial said in a statement. “While Massachusetts has one of the top vaccination rates in the country, there are still too many unvaccinated people who are more susceptible to becoming critically ill from COVID and requiring hospitalization.”
One factor behind the high volume at UMass Memorial, according to officials there, is that the ongoing nurses strike at St. Vincent’s Hospital has caused almost 100 patient beds to be unavailable. That has driven more patients in the region to UMass Memorial.
“We are suffering from a nationwide labor shortage across all disciplines, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” the hospital said. “We currently have over 400 vacant positions at the Medical Center and 600 caregivers who are out of work on paid leave.”
There are 675 people currently hospitalized for a coronavirus-related illness in Massachusetts, with 170 in intensive care.
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