Masked doctor

PCR or rapid antigen? Here’s how to use COVID tests to gather safely for the holidays

With a new surge of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, both molecular and antigen tests are useful tools to stay safe this holiday season. But when is the best time to use each test, and how can they help us gather safely with friends and family? Brian Hollenbeck, MD, of New England Baptist Hospital, said rapid tests can be helpful when you want an immediate answer, but they should be followed up with a PCR test for confirmation if you are symptomatic or may have been exposed to COVID-19. (Boston Globe, December 22, 2021)

Emergency room entrance to a hospital

Omicron is now dominant in Mass. We asked experts if the recent COVID surge has changed their holiday plans

For people hoping to spend their holiday with friends and family, infectious disease experts – including Robin Colgrove, MD, of Mount Auburn Hospital, and Brian Hollenbeck, MD, of New England Baptist Hospital – shared precautions they’re taking this season, whether the rise of Omicron has changed their plans, and what advice they have for holiday gatherings. (Boston Globe, December 22, 2021)

Emergency room entrance to a hospital

‘This is a disaster’: Hospitals strain with more patients, fewer employees

Health systems are struggling with capacity challenges, but most patients visiting the hospitals today don’t have COVID-19; they are sicker from delaying care over the past 20 months. Richard Nesto, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Beth Israel Lahey Health, shared examples of why the hospitals are strained and how hospital leaders are using capacity at any of its 13 hospitals and urgent care centers through the system to accommodate demand. (Boston Business Journal, November 9, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

Mass. doctor on lifting travel restrictions

Robert Duncan, MD, MPH, of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, answered questions about lifting some travel restrictions and said requiring full vaccination or negative test from travelers, along with mask requirements and other safety measures in place, make uplifting travel restrictions reasonable. (WCVB, November 8, 2021)