The former head of the Massachusetts Medical Society is “incredibly concerned” about recent coronavirus case growth, noting that such trends in the past have led to shutdowns.
“What we’re seeing looks like exponential growth … exponential growth starts somewhere and it goes somewhere,” said Dr. David Rosman, former president of MMS and associate chair of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“What worries me is that we will be back to the numbers that led to the shutdown. Whether or not we will be on the numbers where the shutdown decisions will be made, I just don’t know,” Rosman told the Herald.
Massachusetts coronavirus cases fell below 100 per day in late June and early July, but the number of cases has now risen above 300 in recent days.
Rosman said the type of development is similar to last fall, which ultimately led to “untold, unacceptable, horrific deaths from COVID” as well as thousands of cases per day over the winter.
The rise of the coronavirus in Massachusetts and across the country has largely been attributed to the infectious delta variant, which now accounts for about 83% of all cases in the United States, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaccines have been shown to be as effective as the delta version, but unvaccinated people are still at risk. Rosman said the delta variant can spread within seconds by simply passing an infected person on the road.
Making a national observation, Rosman tweeted Wednesday, “Things are closing in again. Hospital first. It will be the restaurant and all the things you love next. Why? Not enough people are vaccinated. It leads to variants and the people who get sick the most are almost always asymptomatic.”
Things are closing in again. Hospital first. It will be the restaurant and all the things you love next. Why? Not enough people are vaccinated. This leads to variations and the people who get sick the most are almost always asymptomatic. #GetVaccinatedOrGetCovid # get vaccinated please.
— Dr. David Rosman (@darosman) 21 July 2021
Bay State hospitals have not changed their coronavirus restrictions in response to a spurt in cases, according to the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association and Mass General Brigham.
However, MHA Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Patricia Noga, said, “This most recent uptick in cases should serve as a reminder that our fight against COVID-19 is not over.”
President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Dr. Carol Allen said isolated communities may consider strengthening some health mandates in response to outbreaks, such that Provincetown strongly recommends wearing masks, but blanket restrictions are not yet necessary.
“We have some experience and if the numbers start to correlate we are able to pivot quickly to measures that have been implemented in the past,” Allen said.