BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the “troubling data trends” following Thanksgiving should serve as a warning for residents during the upcoming holiday season.
“We’ve seen this movie before,” Baker said, warning residents not to repeat actions that caused post-Thanksgiving COVID spikes.
The governor told reporters during his Tuesday press briefing that there has been an 84% increase in COVID deaths since Thanksgiving in Massachusetts. In addition, over the last three weeks hospitalizations were up by 93% and there was a spike in ICU patients of 73%.
“It’s not a secret that we’re in a second surge here in Massachusetts. And while hope is clearly right around the corner, arriving in dry ice in the form of a vaccine, it’s not here yet,” said Baker.
“We really can’t have (the holidays) be the kind of consequential event that Thanksgiving has been here in Massachusetts.”
The governor said the Department of Public Health will be releasing guidelines later in the day for how families should take precautions during the holidays if they are planning to gather.
“It’s pretty simple. The safest way to celebrate this year is with members of your own household, and to postpone or cancel any travel plans, and to avoid gatherings with people you don’t live with,” said Baker.
Last week, Baker announced the state would be rolling back into Phase 3, Step 1 of its coronavirus reopening plan. On Tuesday, he said if the strain on hospitals does not slow down, more restrictions could be needed.
“The goal all along has been to protect public health while keeping schools and the economy as open as possible. But if our hospitals can’t keep up, we have few options left, other than more restrictions,” Baker said.
AAA is expecting COVID to cut down on the number of people flying. But there will still be a lot of people traveling
“What we’re finding here in Massachusetts is the pandemic is having an impact on travel. So one million fewer people will travel in Massachusetts during this end of year holiday period. So around 1.5 million, down from 2.5 million last year when we broke records,” said Mary Maguire of AAA Northeast.