Second surge checklist: What Massachusetts still needs to fight another coronavirus wave
Boston Herald – August 26, 2020
Alexa B. Kimball, MD, MPH (President & CEO, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC) and other healthcare professionals put together a checklist of what Massachusetts still needs to prepare for a potential second surge of COVID-19 cases.
Massachusetts is likely to confront a second surge of coronavirus in the fall and although medical professionals learned a lot from the first peak, gaps still remain in preparation for another wave.
These are things that Massachusetts still needs in order to fight a potential second surge of COVID-19 cases, according to experts:
- Personal protective equipment: Gowns and N95 masks are still difficult to come across
- Staffing: Many hospitals were forced to lay off staff members who still have not been rehired
- Reliable, rapid testing: Testing can still take days to receive results and false negatives and positives are possible
- Routine care appointments: Many patients still have not returned to the hospital for routine care, worrying doctors about unmet medical needs
- Standardized protocols: Strict state guidance, with consequences if not met, on testing, treating and monitoring patients
- Treatment: Access and availability of safe COVID-19 treatments that can be taken before or once a person feels sick
- Vaccine: A safe and effective coronavirus vaccine that can be distributed and conveniently administered
The checklist of outstanding needs was compiled by President and CEO of Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, Steve Walsh; Massachusetts Nurses Association President, Donna Kelly-Williams; CEO of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Medical Center, Alexa Kimball; and Newton-Wellesley Hospital Chief Nursing Officer, Kevin Whitney.