Massachusetts coronavirus

UMass Hospital Chief Reports ‘Worst Day We've Ever Had'

On Saturday, state health officials reported 130 new deaths

NBC10 Boston

The head of the UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester says there are 107 people in intensive care beds and he's calling it the“worst day we’ve ever had” for intensive care usage at city hospitals.

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports Dr. Eric Dickson says the number of patients in ICU is up 20 from a week ago, which at that time was also a high-water mark.

But there is cause for cautious optimism. Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty saying the city has seen a “slight decline” in new cases.

On Saturday, state health officials reported 130 new deaths, bringing to nearly 3,850 the total number of deaths related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that 66,263 people have tested positive for the virus.

The hospitalization rate -- the percentage of coronavirus-positive patients in the hospital -- ticked down to 5% on Saturday, following a recent trend. There are 3,601 people in the hospital, the fewest since mid-April, and 921 in intensive care units, a figure that has also been decreasing over the past few days.

As Massachusetts braces for a surge in coronavirus cases, field hospitals are opening to help treat patients.

The DCU Center in Worcester opened in early April as the state's first coronavirus field hospital as health officials predicted incoming COVID-19 patients would outnumber available beds. The makeshift hospital has more than 200 beds with six ICU bays, in case a patient's condition gets worse and requires a ventilator.

There are also field hospitals at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne and at the University of Massachusetts Lowell's Recreation Center.

NBC10 Boston and the Associated Press