Hospitals brace for high volumes post holiday

BOSTON - Hospitals in our area are urging people to be extra careful for the New Year’s holiday weekend as their ERs begin to see increased volumes of people who are sick.

On the spring-like December day this week, Castle Island was filled with people. “I looked at the weather forecast and said let’s go,” said Deb Bertrand of West Roxbury.

Amy Trung, of Quincy, was there with her daughter. “Get some fresh air because we have been home the last couple of days,” said Trung.

Everyone we talked to had a story about someone getting sick over the holidays. “Already to serve lunch to my brother-in-law and his wife he got a cold,” said Bertrand. Anna Godin was on her fourth walk with her dog, Leo, trying to get some fresh air. “I was sick over Christmas but now I am taking advantage of being outside as much as possible,” said Godin.

Tufts Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Terry Hudson-Jinks says they are all about prevention. “If you are sick, you need to stay home and maybe postpone your holiday activities for another time,” said Hudson-Jinks. South Shore Hospital, in Weymouth, says it is also dealing with overflow writing to us, “Our Emergency Department, like others across the region, is currently extremely busy, as the recent period of high patient volume has combined with a post-holiday surge to create a challenging situation. We’d like to stress to our community that the Emergency Department should be reserved for serious, emergent needs”. Hospitals say the best rule of thumb is to call your primary doctor first and use urgent care if your condition is not life-threatening. “It’s so important to take care of yourself, self-care is essential and thinking about prevention and thinking about preventing someone else from getting sick because you are not well,” said Hudson-Jinks.

Tufts predicts the two weeks following this weekend could see some of their busiest times in the ER. They are urging people to try to take any extra precautions they can to avoid getting sick or getting someone else sick.

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