As Governor Charlie Baker announced Monday that the coronavirus peak in Massachusetts is likely to happen in two to three weeks, a local hospital leader expressed concern about what that could mean for medical providers.
“The northern Italian situation that everyone’s familiar with is what we consider our ‘worst case,’ and it’s possible that we may see cases — both in terms of numbers and critical illness — that look a lot like that kind of a scenario,” Dr. Paul Biddinger of Massachusetts General Hospital told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston Monday night.
Biddinger is the chief of the Division of Emergency Preparedness and director of the Center for Disaster Medicine at the hospital.
“Since January, we have seen orders of personal protective equipment that we’ve placed through our suppliers not filled — either completely, or at least at lower levels,” he said.
As reported last week by NBC News, MGH has already begun using some of its emergency supplies, such as goggles and N95 masks.
“It’s absolutely concerning that we’re using so much,” Biddinger said.
Biddinger said that while his hospital currently had an adequate supply of masks, he would “believe in orders when they’re on our loading docks and we have them in hand.”
“I’m still worried about the peak,” he said. “We’re two to three weeks away probably from the peak, at least based on our own modeling. If we have a doubling of critical illness cases every 3 days, that’s a lot of doubling between now and three weeks from now.”