Baker: Coronavirus cases in Mass. could skyrocket to 172,000 in coming weeks

BOSTON (WHDH) - Confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts could skyrocket to 172,000 when an expected surge hits in the coming days and weeks, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday.

Citing projections based on models of what took place in the Chinese city of Wuhan — the area widely considered to be the source of the outbreak — COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth could range from 47,000 to 172,000 between April 7 and April 17, Baker said during a news conference at the State House.

If the projections come true, 0.7 to 2.5 percent of the Bay State’s population would be impacted by the potentially deadly disease.

A peak in hospitalizations could come between April 10 and April 20, Baker added.

“The next three to four weeks are going to be very difficult ones,” Baker said. “We’re supposed to do everything we possibly can to limit our exposure to other people. This virus can’t survive if it can’t jump from one person to the next.”

Baker said Massachusetts is fortunately home to “some of the best” hospitals in the country and that the state is planning to drastically expand ICU capacities.

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Based on current resources, there will still be a need for about 500 more ICU beds and ventilators after hospitals execute surge plans, according to Baker.

Baker stressed that he hopes all of the measures that the state has put into place in recent weeks will ultimately help flatten the curve.

“All of the measures that we’ve put in place have all been about flattening the curve, meaning we’ve been trying to avoid having cases peak all at once here in Massachusetts, which would overwhelm our healthcare system,” Baker said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 7,738 confirmed coronavirus cases and 122 deaths in Massachusetts.

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