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Gov. Charlie Baker teared up at the end of his daily briefing Wednesday, pausing for 10 seconds while talking about how his best friend’s mother died of COVID-19 and the “brutal” psychological impact on families who cannot hold funerals or memorial services to say goodbye. With Massachusetts poised to surpass 1,000 COVID-19 deaths, Baker said, “I pay attention to the numbers but what I really think about mostly are the stories, and the people who are behind the stories.” [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]
Gov. Charlie Baker teared up at the end of his daily briefing Wednesday, pausing for 10 seconds while talking about how his best friend’s mother died of COVID-19 and the “brutal” psychological impact on families who cannot hold funerals or memorial services to say goodbye. With Massachusetts poised to surpass 1,000 COVID-19 deaths, Baker said, “I pay attention to the numbers but what I really think about mostly are the stories, and the people who are behind the stories.” [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]
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BOSTON –  The surge of COVID-19 patients that the state has been planning for has arrived

“At this point in time … we are in the surge, yes,” Gov. Charlie Baker said during his daily coronavirus press conference late Wednesday morning.

The surge of patients requiring hospitalization was forecast by the Baker administration to hit sometime between April 10 and April 20.

Baker said Wednesday that his conversations with the health care community in recent days suggest Massachusetts is now in the midst of that influx.

Baker said that, with the addition of resources and health care capacity coming online in the next five to seven days, he thinks “we are pretty well positioned to deal with this.”

The governor on Wednesday detailed the efforts the state has made to expand hospital capacity and establish field hospitals around the state.

On Tuesday, he said about half of the state’s hospital capacity remained available. Weeks into the state of emergency and with COVID-19 deaths approaching the 1,000 mark, Massachusetts will begin reporting COVID-19 cases by city or town on Wednesday, and will update the more-granular information each week, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said during the press conference.

In recent days, the state has increased what data it reports. In addition to the daily update on new cases and new deaths, the state now also reports the limited data it has on demographic information, details on distribution of personal protective gear and the number of cases identified in long-term care facilities.