As coronavirus cases climb and field hospitals go up in Massachusetts, some state officials are calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to rollback some reopening.
New positive cases surpassed 5,000 for the second day in a row on Friday. The Department of Public Health announced 6,477 new coronavirus cases Thursday, a single-day high since the start of the pandemic.
Dr. Phoebe Yager, who works in the pediatric intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, is seeing the second surge first hand.
“These are difficult patients to take care of. They have a lot of challenges,” she said.
Dr. Yager said unlike the first surge, they are seeing an uptick in younger patients. Right now the hospital is ready to care for them, but if cases keep going up, she worries the state healthcare system could be overwhelmed.
“I really worry if more restrictions are not put in place that we could find ourselves in a very difficult situation,” Dr. Yager said.
Baker said Thursday he is not considering more restrictions just yet.
“We’ll continue to look at the public health data, but what I will say is one day does not make a trend,” Baker said.
State representative Bill Driscoll (D-Milton) said the trend is clear and he is concerned the field hospital will fill up if action is not taken now.
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Driscoll said it is not just the cases he’s worried about, but also the increasing traces of virus being found in the state’s wastewater. He wrote a letter to the governor calling for temporary restrictions.
“We need at least 30 days of temporary restrictions on gathering sizes, non-essential indoor activities, things like that. We don’t need a total shutdown, but we are headed in the wrong direction and I believe we have reached the tipping point,” Driscoll said.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone agrees.
He chose to reopen his city slower than the rest of the state and said he would consider taking more aggressive action now, too, if he thought it would make enough of a difference.
“We need to think beyond one individual community,” Curtatone said. “We can’t have 351 different approaches. We need deliberate, definitive action.”