BOSTON (WHDH) - With Massachusetts’ health care system on the brink of being overwhelmed, Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday again begged residents to stay home for the holidays to prevent another surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“We’re basically begging everyone to stay within their immediate household over the course of this holiday season,” Baker said during a news conference at the State House.

Baker’s desperate plea comes after many residents ignored dire warnings from officials and gathered on Thanksgiving, resulting in tens of thousands of new virus cases in the weeks that followed the holiday.

“If this second holiday season produces a surge in infections that we saw that’s similar to the one that came out of Thanksgiving, we’ll be in serious danger of overwhelming our health care system,” Baker said. “Our health care system is under immense pressure these days.”

As of Monday, there were 1,991 people hospitalized with coronavirus and 410 patients in the ICU, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Baker noted that post-Thanksgiving spread has started to slow down but he said the state is “unfortunately anticipating another significant surge.”

The governor urged all Bay Staters to think hard about the consequences of the actions they take through the holiday season.

“We’re not asking people to do this forever, we are asking them to do it for the next 10 or 12 days,” Baker said.

Baker also announced that nearly $49 million in grants to small businesses will be awarded through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp.

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