COVID-19, Omicron on Fire Everywhere With No Real End in Sight

JANUARY 16: The Pope John XXIII Covid-19 vaccine site is open for residents. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Confusion Reigns as More and More Become Sick

By Josh Resnek

The United States is reporting more than 800,000 new cases a day of COVID and Omicron. That’s right, 800,000 as day.

That’s about 6 million a week or 24 million in a month.

Every one of us know someone who is sick or diagnosed as having the virus.

Not as many are dying or becoming violently ill, but hospitals from Everett to Los Angeles have been filling up with the sick.

What’s worse, so many on hospital staffs have become ill and cannot go to work that carrying on is made near to impossible.

In other words, the national health care system is right now weathering its worst time during this lingering pandemic.

Locally, the Cambridge Health Alliance Hospital in Everett is straining at the seams as it tries to balance a huge influx of patients seeking emergency health care at a time when many of its health care employees are out sick.

Much larger hospitals have stopped with elective surgery to take some of the pressure away from health care givers who are maxed out.

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Tales from CHA Everett Highlights Strained Resources and Hospital Woes

By Josh Resnek

When you need an emergency room in Everett, you head to the Cambridge Health Alliance Hospital on the hill. The former Whidden Hospital has been treating record numbers of patients, which reached a new high last week, according to a report on WBUR.

Although the holiday week is usually quiet, this year patients crowded the facility’s emergency room and on a recent afternoon, there were at least 30 patients crowded into a seating area designed for half that number.

What is happening here is the state of affairs all over the state in emergency rooms.

According to public health officials, emergency rooms are close to a breaking point as COVID cases are rising and people seek medical care they can’t find anywhere else.

In the Everett ER there are already long waits for health care services, “ hospital officials say.

“I am very worried that we are going to miss someone or something catastrophic,” said Dr. Melisa Lai-Becker, who runs the CHA Everett emergency department.

“If you’re having a hard time breathing or having chest pain, you must, must, must come to the emergency department,” Lai-Becker said. “If you think you just need to get tested for COVID, please call your doctor, go to a testing center or go to urgent care,” she said.

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CHA Everett earns high marks from safety organization

Staff saluted for strong work with patients during pandemic

CHA Cambridge and CHA Everett Hospitals have both received an “A” grade in the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing their achievements protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety, is the only hospital rating program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care. “Our ‘A’ grade reflects an organizational focus on quality and safety that is driven by our staff’s strong commitment to both our patients and standardized best practices for safety,” said Assaad Sayah, MD, CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance.

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CHA nurses protest unfair treatment

APRIL 27: Nurses stage an informational picket in front of CHA Everett demanding a better contract. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Picket CHA hospitals in contract dispute centered on patient safety, cuts in sick time


Cambridge Health Alliance, the owner of the former Whidden Hospital, is refusing to agree to patient safety improvements and is cutting sick time benefits in a general devaluation of nursing efforts according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

Protests were held out front of three Cambridge Alliance Hospital this week, including the former Whidden Hospital, where nurses and healthcare professionals held informational picketing.

Attention was called to CHA executives allegedly turning their backs on front line healthcare workers.

APRIL 27: Nurses in front of CHA Everettt protesting. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Instead of honoring the dedication and sacrifices made by nurses and health professionals during the pandemic, the CHA is opting to drag out lengthy and unfair contract negotiations that ignore needed improvements to staffing, pay, and benefits, the MNA claims.

“Despite our critical contributions to our patients and community during the pandemic and beyond, CHA management refuses to treat Everett Hospital healthcare professionals equally,” said Sharen Froilan RN, and Co-chair of the MNA Bargaining Committee at Everett Hospital. “Reaching a fair contract with CHA will mean Everett Hospital nurses and healthcare professionals receive the support we need and deserve as we care for our community.”

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Covid-19 expected to surge due to holidays

CHA medical personal collect nasal swabs testing for Covid-19 at one of the first sites in the area at CHA Somerville March 20, 2020. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Vaccinations have started in Everett for front line workers


Everett remains one of the state’s top hot spots for COVID-19.

Christmas week was a bit kinder to the city.

The Department of Public Health reported slightly over 300 new cases last week as compared with 450 the week before.

Statewide, cases rose dramatically as did deaths.

Worse still, is the expected surge in cases following the

Christmas holiday which will likely occur about two weeks after Christmas.

Officials are also cautioning Everett residents and people all over the United States about the possibility and likelihood of a second surge following the New Year’s Eve holiday.

The Christmas and New Years’ surges will cause January to be the worst month of the epidemic which began in Marchand by a wide margin.

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