Tewksbury Rally Over Coronavirus Outbreak In Mental Healthcare


TEWKSBURY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A long line of drivers held a rolling rally on Sunday in protest of the treatment of patients at Tewksbury Hospital, where there has been an outbreak of coronavirus.

Dozens of vehicles, donning signs on their windows and honking their horns, took part in the drive-by protest Sunday afternoon organized by the human rights advocacy organization, Massachusetts Advocating for Change Together (MassACT).

The demonstration was designed to bring attention to what organizers call "the unfair treatment of people living inside Tewksbury Hospital and other Department of Mental Health run, contracted, and licensed group living settings."

Tewksbury Hospital has a COVID-19 infection rate of almost 60 percent. As of Sunday, 83 out of 140 residents on the DMH units had tested positive for the virus. Several patients already have died.

"We have known for a long time that there has been abuse and neglect in these state hospitals," said Thomas Brown from MassACT. "What COVID has done is highlight how severe it is."

Brown told WBZ NewsRadio that MassACT has been hearing from people inside the hospitals "telling us they are desperate to help them get out because they're afraid they're going to die there."

WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville reports:

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(Photo: Getty Images)


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