BOSTON – Data shows that steps taken by Massachusetts to combat the spread of the coronavirus virus – closing schools, closing most of the economy and asking people to limit travel outside – can succeed, Governor Charlie Baker said Monday, but those steps must continue to be followed as The state is preparing for the expected entry of COVID-19 patients who need to be hospitalized.
Because he declared a state of emergency towards the beginning of March, Baker said, data from Google showed a 60 percent decline “both in park activity and in retail and recreation. That’s a big drop. “His administration has also noticed” a very dramatic decline in almost every action you can think of regarding mobility and meetings, “he said.
But the governor warned against reading too much into one data set, including a one-day state update on the number of cases and deaths.
“I know people want to look for trends in this regard, especially positive trends given the anxiety created by the presence of the virus in the first place. But I think the best way to see this is from time to time,” he said at Eastern Bank headquarters where he announced a new grant throughout the state. “I believe if you follow the trend line for Massachusetts, you can see it starting to bend a little in the case. But I think we all need to be very careful in drawing too many conclusions from a small point of data. “
The number of COVID-19 new cases and newly reported deaths appears to have slowed only slightly over the weekend, but the Department of Public Health reported an increase in 1,337 cases and 29 new deaths while Baker held his press conference Monday afternoon. The total number of confirmed cases in the state now reaches 13,837 and 260 residents have died from this disease.
Baker has said state modeling shows the total number of cases in Massachusetts will range between 47,000 and 172,000 during “weeks and months” – a range that can be estimated to cause between 705 and 2,580 COVID-19 deaths, based on the current 1.5 percent mortality rate. And the surge in patients who need hospitalization that the country and its health care system are getting ready is expected to begin soon this Friday.
With that in mind, it is equally important for people to obey long-distance social orders and local guidelines such as Boston’s new curfew and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s suggestion that all residents wear masks in public. Baker said on Monday that he was “fully supportive[s]”Walsh’s initiative was rejected when asked about issuing stricter home stay orders throughout the state when the tide came.
“We are very aggressive about sending our messages related to work activities that are important and not important. We are already quite aggressive with sending our messages and suggestions at home, “he said.
Survey data and conversations with local leaders told him that “people get the fact that they should stay at home, people get the fact that they need to be socially distanced and people get the fact that this is a very dangerous and dangerous virus and that they must play according to the rules, “he said. “That is clear in all the data that I have seen.”
At another point Monday, Baker said he “cannot express how important people are to take these items seriously and take them to heart” and that “there is an extraordinary purpose” in complying with social guidelines and personal hygiene “due to viruses such as this, which is as contagious as this one and in many cases doesn’t look like this one, the most important and purposeful thing we can all do is obey those rules and involve them in a serious way. “
The governor said on Monday that Massachusetts ventilators so far have been received from federal supplies all in working condition but “the big problem is we will need to get more of them.” The state has asked for at least 1,400 ventilators but so far only received 100, the sending that delegates from the state congress on Monday called “very inadequate.”
“We have a commitment for them to work with us to see if we can build that amount over the next few days and weeks,” Baker said of the federal government. “For me, all of this belongs to the category you need to play hands, okay? You just have to play hands. “
The governor was joined Monday afternoon by First Lady Lauren Baker to announce the formation of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund which was launched with $ 13 million available to local foundations and community organizations.
With an initial seed of $ 1.8 million from the One8 Foundation, additional donations from philanthropists, pro bono administration by Eastern Bank and assistance from the Boston Foundation and Foundation for Business Equity, aid funds aim to quickly distribute money to people and places. the most necessary place.
“The goal here is simple, namely to create a statewide fund that can support many local foundations and community assets that have served the community and people in Massachusetts for years to help those who will have the most difficult time to complete and handle all economic consequences and public health consequences associated with this particular virus, “the governor said.
The priority, according to the fund’s FAQ page, is “a high-quality Massachusetts nonprofit that serves those disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with an emphasis on important worker resources (including health care workers), individuals with disabilities, immigrants, vulnerabilities food, and homelessness. . “
“We established the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to help people in every corner of the Commonwealth access the resources they need. This fund will support important frontline workers and other vulnerable communities who face problems such as food and housing insecurity and loss of important services, “said Lauren Baker. “The COVID-19 crisis is perhaps the biggest challenge we face. But I know that the people of Massachusetts will work together and support each other and do their part to help their neighbors survive and succeed. And I know that if we all work together, we will get through this well. “
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