Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on rising COVID-19 infection rates

Massachusetts Medical Society on rising COVID-19 infection rates

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) remains deeply concerned about the increase in positive COVID-19 cases over the last three weeks. The MMS appreciates and supports Governor Baker and his Administration’s thoughtful approach to a carefully phased reopening but urges prompt reconsideration of certain public activities as data indicate a worrisome trend toward a possible resurgence of cases.

We support the Administration’s position that, as health data continue to trend negatively, specific industries, regions, or the entire state may need to restrict activities that promote community spread of COVID-19.

The MMS shares the Governor’s and the Administration’s prioritization of the health and safety of our residents, with a focus on our children, and the goal of safely reopening schools this fall. We agree that data should ultimately drive the state’s decisions. While the state appropriately monitors several key indicators beyond the COVID-19 positive test rate, such as the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized and the COVID-19 death rate, the Society believes that the trend in positive test rates is a critical early indicator of a subsequent surge.

The concerning data suggests that despite the rules in place, either the rules are not sufficiently restrictive, or the residents of the Commonwealth and out of town visitors are not adhering to these rules. It is absolutely vital that everyone must continue to wear a mask, wash their hands, appropriately socially distance, and avoid all unnecessary interactions if we are to achieve long-term success to stem the tide of positive COVID-19 cases.

As positive COVID-19 case rates continue to trend upward, the state must slow down, reevaluate, and prioritize our shared goals in keeping people healthy and safe.

-David A. Rosman, MD, MBA, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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