BOSTON (CBS) – Gov. Charlie Baker said that while “this isn’t an exact science,” most calculations suggest there will be a surge of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts sometime between April 7-17.
“Obviously a huge part of what we’re trying to do, both through preparation around the surge and a lot of the other work we’re doing, is to make sure that everybody who can be saved is saved,” said Baker during a Monday press conference.
The governor said Massachusetts “pursuing every possible angle” to get healthcare workers personal protective gear (PPE) supplies to help keep them safe while they treat coronavirus patients.
Baker said the state’s request for 1,000 new ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile was approved within 48 hours. The governor said he is expecting the equipment will be delivered this week, and called it a “big, positive step forward in the right direction.”
“As I’ve said before, and I know I speak for most governors when I say this, you don’t have a confirmed order until it actually shows up,” said Baker. “And my view on that one continues to be that I’ll feel a lot better about that ability to actually deliver on a confirmed order when one shows up.”
In addition to relying on federal resources, Baker said the state is relying on out of the box solutions as well. He pointed out how New Balance is using its Lawrence facility to make prototype masks with hopes of expanding production to its other New England facilities.
“By harnessing the capabilities of Massachusetts skilled manufacturers, we’ll be able to get gear into the hands of our front line workers faster,” Baker said.
“Protecting the people who work every day to keep us safe and healthy is obviously of huge and significant importance to all of us and that’s why we’re pursuing every possible angle we can find to get some of the gear that they need,” he added.
About 10,000 people were tested for coronavirus over the weekend, exceeding the state’s goal of 3,500 per day. In total, about 40,000 people have been tested in 21 Massachusetts labs.
“We’ll continue to expand testing capacity has time goes on,” Baker said.
As of Monday, there were 56 coronavirus deaths and 5,752 positive cases in Massachusetts.
Baker said the state expects to have an announcement Tuesday about extending the existing order that mandates all non-essential businesses stay closed.