WORCESTER - UMass Memorial Health Care President and CEO Eric Dickson is optimistic about the state of the hospital, as well as Massachusetts as whole.
Dr. Dickson said, "We were able to work together, work with the state, and at some level the federal government to build up capacity in our ICUs, build field hospitals, build field spaces like Beaumont [Rehabitliation Center] where patients could be cared for and we never got to those crisis standards of care."
Governor Charlie Baker announced there were zero new COVID-19 deaths in Massachusetts on Tuesday. Positive cases have dropped 94% since the middle of April.
Governor Baker said, “The continued fight against the virus depends almost completely and exclusively on all of us maintaining our vigilance and continuing to do the things that made such a big difference here in Massachusetts."
Dr. Dickson agrees with Baker, saying situations like the rising case numbers in states like Florida and Texas are avoidable.
"What happened in those states should not have happened. We know, the science says you got to be wearing a mask. And they weren't doing it, and it is very sad lives will be lost,” Dr. Dickson said.
Dr. Dickson says UMass is down roughly 90% in terms of their COVID-19 patient volume. But, he says a resurgence of the virus is not out of the question.
And even with data heading in the right direction, Governor Baker says it is not time for a victory lap.
"i've been a broken record on this. [The coronavirus] is not going to take the summer off,” Baker said. “It's absolutely critical. It's the difference between us reopening the economy, or us having to shut everything back down which none of us want."
Dr. Dickson says with the reopening of schools and businesses across Massachusetts, he's expecting UMass to be offering COVID-19 testing for the foreseeable future.