Gov. Baker: Surge in Mass cases expected between April 7-17

Gov. Baker on Monday said the COVID-19 surge in Massachusetts could occur between April 7 and April 17, and outlined additional efforts to counteract the highly contagious disease.

Massachusetts will open new health care facilities specially designed to treat older adults with COVID-19, part of the state's preparation for a forthcoming surge in cases, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday.

State officials hope to bring about 1,000 skilled nursing facility beds online for seniors afflicted by the highly contagious coronavirus. One facility in Worcester should have 150 beds up and running by Thursday, said Baker, who said such converted facilities could be opened up in a "bunch of areas."

The governor also said Massachusetts will receive more than 1,000 ventilators from the federal government after its request was quickly approved, which Baker described as a "first step" after criticizing Washington for handcuffing states' efforts to acquire equipment key to the coronavirus fight.

Local companies have begun working with the administration to supplement production of masks and other important gear, Baker said. In another new state effort, about 1,800 people have registered to volunteer their medical expertise to assist response to the growing outbreak, he said.