Massachusetts hospital CEOs issue urgent plea to public as omicron spreads

A group of Massachusetts hospital CEOs issued a joint statement to the public Dec. 22 with five steps residents can take to help healthcare providers amid a COVID-19 surge. 

Emergency rooms and hospitals are close to full capacity as COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly, according to the statement, which also notes the challenges healthcare workers have faced throughout the pandemic. 

"Massachusetts hospitals and health systems have reached a crisis point," the hospital leaders wrote.

The leaders urged the public to get their COVID-19 and flu shots, and get boosted when eligible. They also called on community members to mask up in public and when social distancing isn't possible; undergo COVID-19 testing if they are symptomatic or come into close contact with someone who has tested positive; stay updated with regular medical appointments; and seek care from their physician or local urgent care center, instead of the emergency department, when appropriate.

The statement comes as the omicron variant is spreading, and as the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has surpassed numbers seen during this summer's peak fueled by the delta variant. 

Nine members of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association's Expanded Executive Committee signed the statement: 

  • Kevin B. Churchwell, MD, president and CEO of Boston Children's Hospital
  • Michael Dandorph, president and CEO of Wellforce       
  • Eric W. Dickson, MD, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health       
  • Mark A. Keroack, MD, president and CEO of Baystate Health       
  • Anne Klibanski, MD, president and CEO of Mass General Brigham       
  • Christine C. Schuster, RN, president and CEO of Emerson Hospital       
  • Kevin Tabb, MD, president and CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health       
  • Kate E. Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center       
  • Steve Walsh, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

To read the full statement, click here

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