BOSTON (CBS) – Gov. Charlie Baker said residents should be prepared for a surge of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, saying models show the number of cases in the state will likely end somewhere between 47,000-172,000 during the course of the pandemic.

Baker said on Thursday that the latest models project that hospitalizations in Massachusetts are expected to peak sometime from April 10 to 20.

“You need to plan for the worst and hope, at the end of the day, you don’t need to go quite that far. But even with the best planning, we certainly expect our medical system will be stretched.” Baker said.

The governor said the number of cases would represent approximately 0.7-2.5 percent of the state’s population. The current fatality rate is 1.5%, lower than many other parts of the country and the world, Baker said.

“We’re fortunate to be home to some of the best hospitals and best healthcare leaders in the country, with extraordinarily talented medical teams,” Baker said.

The state has worked with hospitals to “significantly expand their ICU capacity,” Baker said. Projections show that Massachusetts needs to add 500 more ICU beds in the coming weeks, as well as more ventilators.

Massachusetts is also adding up to 1,000 new beds at field hospital sites like Worcester’s DCU Center and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Baker said a team of experts developed the models based on the experience in Wuhan, China and adopted them to reflect the Massachusetts population and hospital capacity.

As of Wednesday, Massachusetts had reported 7,738 confirmed cases.
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