UMass Memorial Medical Center is moving to an elevated alert status caused in part by an influx in new COVID cases.
The Worcester hospital is experiencing longer wait times in its emergency room and has fewer available beds for patients.
“We’re looking at all elective procedures,” said Chief Nursing Officer Justin Precourt. “We’re evaluating any patient who’s been admitted to see if we can come up with a safe discharge plan for them.”
The increase in COVID cases is just one of the factors playing a role in the strain on the hospital’s resources.
“If you look at Central Mass. and our vaccination rate, that’s definitely impacted things,” said Precourt. “We have one of the lower vaccination rates in the state.”
The number of COVID patients at the hospital has jumped from 35 to 54 in less than a week.
That “alone impacts our ability to care for everyone else,” said Precourt. “So that’s one of the big factors.”
There’s also an extremely high number of non-COVID patients in the hospital, partly because nearly 100 beds in the region have closed amid the ongoing strike at nearby St. Vincent Hospital.
UMass Memorial said it’s also being impacted by the nationwide labor shortage. The hospital has more than 400 vacant positions.