Walsh: Weeks ahead will test Boston’s healthcare capacity ‘like never before’

BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Tuesday that the coming weeks will test Boston’s healthcare capacity “like never before” due to an expected surge in coronavirus cases that could result in many more deaths.

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“The next few weeks are going to be a test of our healthcare capacity like never before, Walsh said during a news conference outside City Hall. “We’re going to see cases continue to climb, we’re going to see more recoveries. We’re working very closely with the state and doing everything we can to help hospitals expand their capacity.”

Gov. Charlie Baker said last week that COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth could range from 47,000 to 172,000 between April 7 and April 17.

“We’re going to see a lot more loss of life. We expect hospitals will need to add capacity to their morgues,” Walsh added. “It’s a serious reminder for all of us about what’s in our power to reduce the spread of this virus.”

Walsh said the field hospital at the Boston Convention Center should be operational by Thursday. It will have 1,000 beds, six acute care suites, a physical therapy suite, 52 nursing stations, and 48 bathrooms.

Walsh also noted that there are now 70 beds available at 1515 Comm Ave. in Brighton and that the Newton Pavilion will soon be open with an additional 250 beds for coronavirus patients.

“It’s important to be prepared and it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Walsh said. “To put it directly, if wearing a mask is what it takes to save lives, especially those we love the most, we can all make that sacrifice right now.”

On Sunday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh recommended a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, in addition to urging Bostonians to wear face coverings whenever they go outside. The curfew went into effect on Monday night.

Walsh also urged Bostonians to be more vigilant when it comes to social distancing.

“What we do in these next few weeks is critical to flattening the curve and literally saving lives,” he said.

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