Home Health New England’s Success Against COVID-19 May Set a Model

New England’s Success Against COVID-19 May Set a Model


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For Dr. Jeremy Faust, the moment he realized the pandemic was no longer prevalent in his workday was on Memorial Day weekend, when he saw not a single case of coronavirus in two shifts at the emergency department in Brigham and the Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Kerry Labarbera, an ambulance nurse located a few miles from Boston Medical Center, realized the same thing that same weekend when just two COVID-19 patients passed through her ward, one of the busiest in New England.

“The last year and a half has been like a tornado or something terrible,” she said. “You hold onto a dear life, and then you walk by it and think, ‘What just happened? “”

Massachusetts and the rest of New England – the most heavily vaccinated region in the US – give the rest of the country a glimpse into the future if more Americans get vaccinated.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the region have been steadily declining as more than 60% of residents in all six states received at least one dose of the vaccine.

By comparison, the Deep South states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are the least vaccinated (about 35%), and the number of new cases relative to the population tends to be higher than in much of New England. Nationally, about 50% of Americans have received at least one injection.

In Massachusetts, health officials determined last week that no city in the state is at high risk of spreading COVID-19 for the first time since they began publishing weekly estimates last August.

Rhode Island hospital admissions due to coronavirus hit their lowest level in about eight months. New Hampshire averages about 12 deaths per week, after a peak of about 12 deaths per day during the winter outbreak of the virus. And Vermont, the US state with the most intense vaccination (over 70%), has lived for more than two weeks without a single recorded death from coronavirus.

“This is an incredible change in such a short period of time,” said Dr. Tim Lahey, an infectious disease physician at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

Public health experts say the rest of the country may receive some signals from New England, as President Joe Biden pushes to get at least one dose of vaccine for 70% of American adults by July 4, breaking the promise of free beer and other goodies. …

One region appears to have done the right thing: overall it has been slower than in other parts of the country to expand the right to vaccination and instead has focused more on reaching vulnerable groups, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Control and Prevention. diseases. under President Barack Obama.

New England leaders have also largely embraced the advice of public health experts on economic priorities throughout the pandemic, according to Dr. Albert Co, chief of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut.

It was also significant that parts of the region were most severely affected in the early days of the outbreak.

“We really got through it in those early moments,” Ko said. “It left a big imprint on the general population.”

To be sure, some of the improvements in COVID-19 rates can be attributed to warmer weather, which allows New England residents to distance themselves more socially on the street, experts say.

States like California and Nebraska are also doing well, if not better than some New England states when it comes to new cases of population. However, racial differences in vaccination persist in the region, as in many other parts of the country.

In a series of tweets last weekend, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island, contrasted the relatively low vaccination rates in Springfield, Massachusetts, one of the largest, poorest and most racially diverse cities in the region. … with an almost complete vaccination of Newton, a wealthy, predominantly white suburb of Boston.

“So if you have a high vaccination rate, your job is not done,” Jha wrote. “Because there are too many people and communities across America that still don’t have vaccines available.”

Across the country, the number of new coronavirus cases is on average falling to 15,000 per day, and the number of deaths has dropped to about 430 per day – levels not seen since late March 2020, in the earliest stages of the crisis. The total death toll in the United States is just under 600,000.

Even with a sharp decline in incidence, New England hospitals are in many ways overwhelmed as never before, with patients returning in droves after having delayed medical care for more than a year.

Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett, head of family medicine at Boston Medical Center, said re-establishing contact with long-term patients was “exciting,” but also cumbersome as many have to cope with year-long mental trauma beyond their neglected physical ailments.

“There’s definitely a little breath going on,” she said. “We ran this marathon, but now we have another long race ahead of us in terms of restoring people’s health.”

Paul Murphy, an emergency room nurse at Brigham and Women’s, said some of his colleagues feel tired and worn out as frustrated patients can face hours of waiting these days. A hospital spokesperson stressed that the average waiting time is an hour or less.

However, the 54-year-old Warwick, Rhode Island resident said it was a pleasure to step away from the chore as the region comes alive. It took more than 50 hours of work weeks caused by the pandemic to leave his children with sports activities and other commitments, Murphy said.

Faust, an ambulance doctor at Brigham, said that lately he has slept almost an entire day without guilt, which he could not have dreamed of during the pandemic.

But like other health experts, he is concerned that a slowdown in vaccinations could leave the country vulnerable to new, stronger viral mutations.

“We play roulette if we continue to allow the virus to infect so many people,” Faust said. “That’s what keeps me awake at night.”

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Algulf.net and Algulf.net does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


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