Baker: Mass. has ‘flattened the curve,’ update on stay-at-home advisory ‘later this week’

BOSTON (WHDH) - Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday said Massachusetts has finally “flattened the curve” and that an announcement on the statewide stay-at-home advisory would be made “later this week.”

Flattening the curve refers to isolation measures that keep the daily number of coronavirus cases at a manageable level for medical providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“As we’ve said before, a big part of our assumption about social distancing, essential business operation, and the stay-at-home advisory was all about taking the verticality out of the peak, the run-up to the peak, and we clearly have done that,” Baker said during a news conference at the State House. “We’ve flattened the curve.”

While newly reported day-to-day cases have leveled off, Baker said there are still parts of the state that are being hammered by the pandemic.

“The flat curve basically means it has been riding up like that for a while. It seems to have plateaued depending upon which part of Massachusetts you are in,” Baker explained. “The hope and expectation is that it will start to fall but it will probably fall slowly, the same way it ramped up slowly.”

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Over the past week, the state’s coronavirus hospitalization rate has remained relatively stable “in the 10 percent range,” Baker added. He also said that there is a “significant bed capacity” available for coronavirus patients across the state’s healthcare system.

Several hospitals have reported an increase in patients seeking non-coronavirus-related treatments, something that Baker said he views as a “positive sign.”

Baker’s stay-at-home advisory is slated to expire May 4 and it’s not yet clear if it will be extended.

“It’s important for us to create some clarity around this issue with respect to May 4,” Baker said. “You’ll hear from us, later on, this week on that.”

When asked why he was waiting on making a decision, Baker said his administration is continuing to analyze trend data in an effort to come up with a proper “thought and plan.”

On numerous occasions, Baker has made it clear that Massachusetts needs to see a drastic drop in newly reported coronavirus cases and a significant increase in testing in order to reopen the economy.

On Friday, Baker warned residents that Massachusetts is “still in the surge” phase of the pandemic and that the disease is continuing to make people across the Commonwealth “very sick.”

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