Top Massachusetts doctor concerned about 'exponential' coronavirus growth that previously led to ...

Top Massachusetts doctor concerned about 'exponential' coronavirus growth that previously led to ...


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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 are seeing looks like exponential growth … exponential growth starts somewhere and it goes somewhere,” Dr. David Rosman, former MMS president and associate chair of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said.

“What I worry is that we will be back to numbers that led to shutdown. Whether or not we will be at the numbers where shutdown decisions will be made, I simply don’t know,” Rosman told the Herald.

Massachusetts coronavirus cases had hovered below 100 per day in late June and early July, but now case counts have been upward of 300 in recent days.

Rosman said that type of growth is similar to what happened last fall, which ultimately led to thousands of cases per day in the winter along with “untold, unacceptable, horrific deaths from COVID.”

Coronavirus upticks in Massachusetts and across the country have been largely attributed to the contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for about 83% of all cases in the United States, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate.

Vaccines have shown to be effective in the face of the Delta variant, but unvaccinated people still remain at risk. Rosman said the Delta variant can spread in seconds by simply passing by an infected person on the street.

Rosman, making a national observation, tweeted on Wednesday, “Things are closing again. Hospitals first. It will be restaurants and all the things you like next. Why? Not enough people are vaccinated. It leads to variants and those who get sickest are nearly always unvaccinated.”

According to the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association and Mass General Brigham, hospitals in the Bay State have not changed their coronavirus restrictions in response to the uptick in cases.

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.”

Dr. Carole Allen, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society said individual communities might consider reinforcing some health mandates in response to outbreaks, such as Provincetown strongly advising mask-wearing, but blanket restrictions are not necessary right now.

“We do have some experience and if numbers start to be concerning we are able to quickly pivot to measures we have implemented in the past,” Allen said.