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  • December 16, 2021 - CommonWealth Magazine

    DOUGLAS BROWN, president of UMass Memorial Community Hospitals, put it bluntly: “We’re going through the worst staffing crisis in our history.” 

    Yet, UMass fired more than 200 employees earlier this month, many of them working in clinical care. The reason: those employees did not comply with the health system’s mandate to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

  • December 16, 2021 - Worcester Business Journal

    On Tuesday, UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester instituted new visitor policies in response to rising COVID case numbers and the Omicron variant.

    According to the new visitor policy, adult patients will only be allowed one designated visitor. This visitor must be the same individual throughout the course of the patient’s hospitalization, meaning other visitors for the same patient will not be permitted. The previous policy had allowed two visitors per patient. 

  • December 15, 2021 - ABC News

    As Americans gather to toast the end of another particularly difficult year, many loved ones will be notably missing from holiday celebrations, a glaring reminder of the tragic realities of the coronavirus pandemic.

    On Tuesday, the United States reached yet another staggering milestone, with 800,000 Americans now confirmed lost to the coronavirus, according to newly updated data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • December 15, 2021 - Telegram & Gazette

    WORCESTER — Dr. Erik Garcia’s Monday started at 7:30 a.m. at the Queen Street shelter, where he saw two patients with more than a dozen medical conditions.

    Four hours later, Garcia was finishing up giving COVID tests and checking in with patients at the Hotel Grace shelter and had to decline a BLT — he was due back at his office on Chandler Street for more appointments.

  • December 14, 2021 - Becker's Hospital Review

    Between 25 percent to 43 percent of fully vaccinated patients at major Massachusetts hospitals tested positive for COVID-19 in the week ending Dec. 10, WBUR reports. 

  • December 14, 2021 - Spectrum News 1

    WORCESTER, Mass. - There are no detected cases of the omicron variant in Central and Western Massachusetts, but it doesn't mean they won't appear. 

    UMass Memorial Health says most of their hospitalized COVID patients have the delta variant of the virus.

  • December 14, 2021 - CBS Boston

    WORCESTER (CBS) – Inside a tiny trailer outside UMass Memorial hospital, COVID-19 patients are being treated with monoclonal antibodies. “This is hands down the most effective anti-viral treatment we have against COVID,” explained Dr. Sandeep Jubbal. So far, 2,500 patients have received the infusion here and according to Dr. Jubbal, most start to feel better within hours. “I think given the efficacy, it should be given out like water to everybody,” he said.

  • December 13, 2021 - GBH

    A growing surge of COVID-19 patients is stressing already packed hospitals and causing more cancellations of elective procedures.

    "We have a severe bed shortage crisis," said UMass Memorial Health President Eric Dickson. "The patients are backing up into the emergency department that need to be admitted into the hospital."

  • December 13, 2021 - Telegram & Gazette

    The 20th annual Goods for Guns Buyback program, which aims to reduce unsafe firearms in the community, collected 116 firearms from its nine collection sites on Saturday.

  • December 13, 2021 - Boston Globe

    The Massachusetts Medical Society is pushing for a statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces, with COVID-19 cases rising and straining hospitals, as several cities and towns have already reinstituted mandates in their communities.

  • December 12, 2021 - Spectrum News 1

    WORCESTER, Mass. — Police departments across central Massachusetts handed out gift cards in exchange for guns on Saturday as part of UMass Memorial Health's annual "Goods for Guns" buyback program. 

    Participants received gift cards ranging in value from $25 to $75, depending on the type of guns they handed in.

  • December 10, 2021 - Telegram & Gazette

    Worcester and eight other police departments will be conducting a gun buyback program Saturday as part of a collaborative initiative to try to reduce the number of firearms in the community.

    People can drop off firearms, unloaded and wrapped up or in a bag, and collect a gift card for groceries without having to provide identification or weapon information.

  • December 10, 2021 - Spectrum News 1

    WORCESTER, Mass. - It’s hard to believe that the most vaccinated state in the country, Massachusetts, is seeing a third surge of COVID-19.

    UMass Memorial president and CEO, Dr. Eric Dickson, says it's frustrating to see another surge of the virus, especially with more than 72% of Massachusetts residents being fully vaccinated.

  • December 9, 2021 - Spectrum News 1

    WORCESTER, Mass. - Students and artists are making garden tools and sculptures from destroyed guns. 

    “It's their way of showing that these weapons can be transformed into something beautiful," John Hayden, founder of Guns 2 Gardens Massachusetts, said.

  • December 9, 2021 - ABC News

    Despite having one of the nation's highest vaccination rates, Massachusetts is in the midst of a full coronavirus resurgence. The state's daily case average is now at its highest point in nearly a year, and in the last month alone, new hospital admissions have more than doubled.

  • December 8, 2021 - MassLive

    With Central Massachusetts seeing another COVID-19 surge UMass Memorial Health is reporting a steep increase in inpatient cases over the last month and a lack of beds to meet current patient demand.

    In four weeks, there has been a rise from 70 to 198 inpatient cases, Dr. Eric Dickson, the president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health, wrote in an email to caregivers on Tuesday.

  • December 8, 2021 - WBZ CBS Boston

    HOLDEN (CBS) – Karen Raphaelson walks very carefully around her active dogs these days, just off knee replacement surgery that she had to wait a year for. “It’s been pretty bad, I’d fall a lot, my knee would give out,” said Raphaelson.

  • December 7, 2021 - Community Advocate

    NORTHBOROUGH – Representatives of the UMass Medical School Police Department set up shop in Northborough, Dec. 4 for a “stuff-a-cruiser” donation drive to benefit foster families.

    Chief Clanford Pierce, Sergeant Gregory Markiewicz and Officers Gladys Matos and Patrick Clements all gathered at Northborough’s Walmart location.

  • December 7, 2021 - WBUR

    Case numbers are rising, the positivity rate is increasing, and the number of people fully vaccinated has plateaued. And, there's a new variant on the rise: omicron. This week on Ask the Docs, we take listener calls with Dr. Michael Hirsh, Medical Director of the Department of Public Health in Worcester, and director of pediatric trauma at UMass Memorial Health, and to Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health, to answer all of your COVID questions.

  • December 6, 2021 - USA Today

    A vaccine mandate for private-sector workers across New York City will take effect this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

    The expansion of de Blasio's "Key to NYC" vaccination program, effective Dec. 27, will cover 184,000 businesses, he said. Vaccinations are already required for hospital and nursing home workers – and city employees including teachers, police officers and firefighters. A vaccination mandate for employees of private and religious schools was announced last week.