Mass. leaders say there has been a slow decrease in infection, hospitalization rates in cities hit hardest by COVID-19

Massachusetts State and local leaders in Brockton and Chelsea say they are slowly seeing the number of infection rates of COVID-19 go down.

BROCKTON, Mass. — Massachusetts State and local leaders in Brockton and Chelsea say they are slowly seeing the number of infection rates of COVID-19 go down.

Boston 25 obtained cell phone video from Wednesday night inside of Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital. The video shows practically empty hallways of the hospital, which was one of the hospitals hit the hardest by the pandemic.

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“You hear these stories of how tough it is on the physician and the nurses to not be able to allow family members in, that has really made it difficult for them to live through” said Kim Hollon, the CEO and President of Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital.

At the peak of the virus in mid-April, they were at full capacity, with nearly 75 patients. Now, only half of COVID-19 patients remain in the hospital, but Hollon says that, if there is another surge, they are prepared.

“I think there will be a surge if this virus unless this virus burns itself out, like some other virus’ have," said Hollon. “We have to plan for and assume there will be another surge.”

Brockton and Chelsea continue to be two of the hardest hit cities with mostly essential workers living in tight corridors. On April 17th, we showed you what the line was like in Chelsea, where hundreds gathered at a food pantry to get supplies.

In Brockton, there nearly 3,498 confirmed cases with 214 deaths. In Chelsea, at least 2,506 cases were confirmed, and 145 deaths.

"Wearing a mask, social distancing just has to something we don’t let our guard down on,” said Hollon.

As Massachusetts remains one of the hardest hit states, this story has touched a group of New York City women called “Helmets Helping Heroes," where they are educating and donating helmet-based ventilation machines across the Northeast, and Florida. Similar to what they are using in Italy and at UMass Memorial Hospital.

“It’s a non-invasive method of ventilation," said Dr. Lisa Ellman-Grunther, the Medical Director for Helmets Helping Heroes. “It’s potentially a safer option than intubation.”

“When heard about it we wanted this to be everywhere,” said Linda Ellman Schwartz, who helped put Helmets Helping Heroes together. “It offers the dual role of helping the patient and the caregiver.”

Schwartz says the goal right now is to keep everyone protected and not let our guards down. So far, the group has donated at least 40 helmets. A GoFundMe has been set up for Helmets Helping Heroes - you can donate here.

Hollon tells us that if there is another surge, they are ready with additional PPE, and hospital beds.

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