BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker stressed on Monday that people need to continue social distancing measures as the state comes closer to what is expected to be a surge of coronavirus cases.

As of Monday, there have been 13,837 cases of coronavirus and 260 deaths in the state. Health officials said they anticipate a surge of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts sometime before April 17.

“By April 10 we need to be in a position to assume we are going to see a fairly significant increase in hospitalizations,” Baker said.

“No one really knows how many people will be lost to this virus. But if you just follow the conversation that’s taking place between public health officials, healthcare officials generally, and public health experts, the numbers are extraordinary.”

Read: Gov. Baker And First Lady Launch Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund

Baker said he supports Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s decision announced Sunday to ask city residents to wear masks when leaving home. The governor urged people across the state to stay home whenever possible.

“If you don’t have to leave home, don’t. If you need to shop at the supermarket, one person should be able to make that trip,” Baker said. “If you need to go for a walk by all means, go for a walk. But we’re not supposed to be gathering in groups. That’s been made clear for several weeks here in Massachusetts.”

A total of 76,500 coronavirus tests have been completed in Massachusetts as of Monday.

On Tuesday, Baker said the state will announce a new testing site in Lowell in partnership with CVS that will conduct up to 1,000 tests per day. The site will likely conduct tests by appointment only.

Another site will be opening at the Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield later this week.

  1. Brian Swensen says:

    why is this guy expecting things to get so much worse here? when we took mitigation measures earlier than New York and they’re past their surge, presumably. If we get this big surge, it’s obvious emperor baker’s stay at home orders didn’t work.

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