Gov. Baker says Mass system won’t be overwhelmed

The ongoing surge of COVID-19 patients who need hospital care is not going to overwhelm the health care system in Massachusetts or hinder its ability to treat patients for other health issues, Gov. Charlie Baker declared Monday morning.

For weeks, the state has been preparing for an influx of COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization that threatened to overwhelm hospitals and limit the ability of the health care system to address the more run-of-the-mill issues that typically require hospital care.

A day after saying that Massachusetts is "right in the middle of the surge," Baker's comments Monday during a live Skype interview on Boston 25 News suggest that the worst case scenario will not come to pass.

The governor said the state's strategy to limit the spread of the coronavirus and prepare for the surge "has worked."

"We have a health care system that is not going to be overwhelmed by this thing and the reason it's not going to be overwhelmed is because we've planned effectively, worked hard with our colleagues in the health community and the people of Massachusetts, for the most part, did exactly the right thing about social distancing and hand washing and all of the issues we raised about disinfecting surfaces," Baker said. "People have done a great job on that and it's part of the reason why here in Massachusetts we will be able to deal with the surge and at the same time make sure we can take care of all the other issues."

The governor said he feels "the same frustration everybody else feels" about social distancing and the economic shutdown, but he said that those measures are a big part of the reason that the state's hospitals will be able to work through the surge. - Colin A. Young/SHNS