Four of Boston's largest and best-known hospitals said on Monday that in all, 345 of their employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, putting additional pressure on the area's already stretched medical resources.
Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed to NPR on Monday afternoon that 115 of its staff members have tested positive for COVID-19; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told NPR on Monday afternoon that it has 62 employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Additionally, Boston television station WBZ reported Monday that Tufts Medical Center has 61 employees who have tested positive.
Additionally, a WBZ reporter stated on Monday afternoon that Brigham and Women's Hospital said that it had 107 employees who were positive for COVID-19.
All four institutions are prominent teaching hospitals. MGH, BIDMC and Brigham and Women's are all affiliated with Harvard University; Tufts is the primary teaching hospital for Tufts University.
Just last Friday, MGH said that 41 employees had received a positive diagnosis — so there has been a 180% increase in four days.
As of Monday, Massachusetts has reported 5752 confirmed cases of the coronavirus; over 2900 of those positive cases were for people in Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties — an area which includes Boston and many of its close suburbs as well as smaller cities and towns. In all, more than 43,000 people have been tested in the state so far. There have been 56 deaths.
While those numbers are not at the level of hot spots like New York City and its metropolitan area, New Jersey or California, officials anticipate a ramp-up in positive cases in Massachusetts over the next few weeks.
At a press conference on Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker said that the state expects to see a surge in positive cases sometime between April 7 and April 17 — and that he anticipates a great deal of need in the health care sector, including for medical supplies, beds and ventilators.
At a Monday afternoon news conference, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that nearly half of the people currently diagnosed with the illness are under the age of 39, according to television station WHDH.