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Massachusetts hospitals filling with COVID patients — but still have space for more

Statewide, 20 percent of medical beds and 38 percent of ICU beds are still available, according to state officials.

ALLISON DINNER
A nurse cared for a COVID-19 positive patient at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Massachusetts is accelerating as the pandemic reaches new heights, but hospitals in the state are still far from getting overwhelmed.

For now, local hospitals have been able to avoid the level of crisis seen in other states, including neighboring Rhode Island, where hospitals filled up this week.

“The surge is definitely here,” said Steve Walsh, president of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. “The real difference this time is that every hospital now has a plan in place. They know how to quickly scale up beds if necessary. They know how to keep COVID treatment separate from non-COVID treatment. They’ve been learning about this now for months.”

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