Baystate Health provides COVID-19 update
Baystate Health provides COVID-19 update

Baystate Health provides COVID-19 update

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than two years into this pandemic, we get an update on where COVID stands locally.

Baystate Health CEOs held a virtual news briefing on Tuesday. The CDC only has Berkshire County in the yellow category for COVID-19 risk in western Massachusetts, the other counties are likely to turn yellow soon, according to Doctor Keroack.

But we are in much better shape than at the beginning of this year.

“The virus is running out of targets that are completely unprotected at this point, and therefore we are not going to see these tsunamis of demand for hospital treatment that we have seen in the last two years.” Dr. Mark Keroack President and CEO, Baystate Health

Covid cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in Massachusetts, but Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health, said there is an interruption between those two data points, thanks to vaccines and boosters. He said over 70 percent of people over 12 are fully vaccinated.

“In terms of people who have not been vaccinated, about 50 percent of the population has been exposed to omicron.” Dr. Keroack said the advent of therapeutic agents has also helped. Especially PAXLOVID for high-risk symptomatic patients, which he said prevents hospitalization by about 80 percent.

Still, Covid’s toll can be seen when looking at employment figures nationwide and at home. Baystate Health has 1,800 jobs open.

“We had a slightly older workforce compared to the national average. So many people in their 50s and early 60s decided to retire early. So the pipeline to rebuild these individuals is not nearly as wide to keep up with it all. “Dr. Mark Keroack President and CEO, Baystate Health

Dr. Keroack said they are still hiring 50 to 100 people a week to try to fill these gaps and that they are looking at other ways they can attract and retain more workers.

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