Back in June, a study conducted by the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association (MHA) found that nursing vacancies in hospitals across the state increased over the last three years. Now, almost six months since the original study, the problem persists.

With a recent spike in COVID cases across the state and the beginning of the annual flu season, these shortages in nursing staffing have become more apparent across the state. According to an October survey from the MHA, approximately 19,000 positions are unfilled across the state.

Michael Curry, CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, spoke to Boston Public Radio Wednesday about the nursing staffing shortages across the state.

“We are experiencing what I would call, [a] pretty unprecedented challenge with workforce. We’re seeing at large in every sector, but it has a disastrous impact in healthcare. The reality is we don't have doctors and nurses,” Curry said.

Even for Curry himself, the shortage of healthcare workers has had an impact on his life personally.

“My son had a condition, it took months for him to see a specialist, so we could figure out what it was,” Curry said.

These shortages do not only include workers; hospital beds are running short, with many healthcare facilities being overrun with new patients.

“We know hospitals need to have beds,” Curry said. “COVID-19 made us realize, when there's an emergency, a medical emergency, a pandemic, a medical disaster — folks are going to want to have a bed.”