tv Massachusetts Gov. Baker Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN December 16, 2020 6:02am-7:00am EST
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] gov. baker: good afternoon. today, we are going to focus a bit on some guidance around safely gathering for the holidays. but first i want to give an update on the covid-19 data. yesterday, the department of public health reported 3572 new cases, 56,000 tests were reported, and we've now done inr 9.6 million tests so far massachusetts. 1788 people are in the hospital and 354 of those were in the
icu. in the weeks leading up to thanksgiving, the department of public health put out guidance emphasizing the safest way to celebrate the holiday would be with members of your own immediate household. unfortunately, a few days after thanksgiving, we started seeing significant increases in new covid cases and hospitalizations. this increase accelerated some troubling data trends and has put a significant strain on our health care community. in the 10 days before thanksgiving, massachusetts was averaging roughly 2500 new positive cases a day. that was included with a higher testing volume than we had seen previously. after thanksgiving, our numbers shot up. the seven day average on december 1 was about 2444 cases, which would have been four or five days after thanksgiving.
and eight days later, which would have been 15 days after thanksgiving, that number nearly doubled to almost 4800 cases a day. aat's a 96% increase in little over a week. similarly, prior to thanksgiving, our positive test rate is pretty stable and it had consistently been somewhere in under 4% range. currently it is 5.7%. those commendation of facts have translated into a significant increase in covid-19 hospitalizations over the past three weeks. up by 93%. icu havein the increased by 93% and intubated patients have increased by 94%. we have also seen deaths increased by 84% since thanksgiving.
689 people have died in massachusetts since thanksgiving due to covid. i do not need to tell anybody that these are not just numbers. they are people and they are stories and their relationships. families have lost loved ones, people's lives have been shattered, and our hearts continue to go out to them. the data points do speak to how covid-19 moves. it doesn't stop. many people have light or no symptoms at all. but at the same time, it can make others just horribly ill. roughly half the people in massachusetts who get covid never feel sick, never show any symptoms, but they can spread
the virus again and again. officials in our administration have warned folks for week to avoid large holiday gatherings heading into thanksgiving because when folks are at home with family or friends, they do tend to let their guard down. that is where the virus thrives. and over thanksgiving in massachusetts, it clearly did. our people are sick, hospital system is feeling the strain, more people need hospital level care, and health care workers are being pushed, once again, to their limits, to take care of those with covid and others. is not a secret that we are in a second surge here in massachusetts. and while hope is clearly right
around the corner, arriving in dry ice in the form of a vaccine, it is not here yet. getting through this period between now and when that vaccine is more available to people around the commonwealth requires that we all do things that we know can stop the spread. groups,masks, avoiding staying within your immediate household, engaging in good hygiene. iner seeing what happened the aftermath of that one day, thanksgiving, i do not think we should kid ourselves about the holidays in december. i'm pretty sure i am stating the obvious here, but the holidays will not be the same as they have been before. christmas, hanukkah, kwanzaa, new year's eve.
they simply can't, and for most people, won't be the same. but i'm here today to say that -- welly can have them thely can't have them be really consequential event that thanksgiving has been. we really do need the help of everybody to make sure that we do not have a repeat so that our hospital system can continue to provide the critical medical care that it does so well for those who need it. can't emphasize enough that this is not forever. this is once. one time. one month. one year. christmas, hanukkah, kwanzaa, new year's eve, they
really do, and should be different. next year we will probably be able to celebrate those holidays dislike likely used. thoset this year -- holidays just like we used to. but not this year. will talk morers about that in her remarks. but it's pretty simple. the safest way to celebrate this year is with members of your own household. and to postpone or cancel any travel plans, and to avoid gatherings with people you don't live with. any type of celebration beyond that has real potential, as we saw with thanksgiving, to spread the virus and hurt the ones we all love most. suffolk university put out a poll the other day, and one of the questions they asked was how
do you plan to spend the holidays. people saidof the they planned to spend them either with their immediate household, or alone. and about 30% of those surveyed said they planned to spend it with people outside of their household. to those who plan to spend the holiday with people outside their household, i would really ask you and urge you to first of all reconsider that. acognizing how difficult in time like this that is for everyone. shouldyou must, you formal, like a traditional event that takes place indoors, with people you don't live with, in the midst of
a pandemic. which means people should wear masks, they should open the windows, they should use good hygiene, they should distance if , and follow the rules that have been put in place and proven to be successful in so many other ways since the beginning of this pandemic. that for those you love and for yourselves. with the recognition and understanding that we just saw this movie. it dramatically impacts those closest to you, and the
rest of us here in massachusetts. now, our hospitals have pivoted to their surge plans and they have created capacity and postponed elective surgeries in order to meet the demands of our residents. but we need to help protect them, too, so that our residents can access the medical care that they need. all along has been to protect public health while keeping schools and the economy as open as possible. but if our hospitals cannot keep lefte have few options other than more restrictions. know that the people of massachusetts have been through a lot. anyone who assumed the lieutenant governor's or my email box knows that. isolation, uncertainty, real sacrifice. it's been a very tough year. but there's hope on the horizon
here. yesterday, massachusetts hospitals started receiving their first shipments of the covid vaccine. and so far, four hospitals have received about 6001st doses. today, the commonwealth is excited the federal government to ship out 53,625 more doses to 17 more hospitals statewide. this is part of the first 300,000 first doses of the vaccine that are expected to arrive before the end of december. yesterday, the first resident in massachusetts steve the covid-19 vaccine. a 96-year-old world war ii veteran received the first vaccination at the v.a. bedford health care system. and she is also the first v.a. patient nationwide to receive the vaccine. today, the first health care workers here in massachusetts
will be vaccinated. and phase one of the vaccine plan is very much underway. and nonclinical health care workers providing direct and covid-facing care are getting vaccinated first so we can protect our health care system. vaccines are being delivered directly from the federal government to the hospitals, and in line with the state's vaccine prioritization framework, hospitals have developed plans to vaccinate their eligible staff members. we expect the rollout of vaccinations to this group to last several weeks for most hospitals. vaccinations will start for long-term care families, rest homes, and assisted living facilities for both residents and staff. cvs and walgreens will assist with vaccinations, and we anticipate this phase will begin around the 20th of december. -- aro decemberund 28. -- around december 28.
dosesect another 120,000 of the vaccine to be sent to massachusetts the next few weeks. these will be distributed to hospitals, community health centers, and other large ambulatory care practices. in all, we expect to receive about 300,000 doses by the end of the year. report vaccine data into the dph, which will we cord the number administered to communities -- to residents. a public dashboard that keeps track will be launched next week. secretary sudders will share more on this in a moment. with vaccines arriving in our state, the path back to something that looks a little bit more like normal is just around the corner. but it's critically important for us all to stay the course in the meantime. and that means continuing to
timemasks, not spending with groups of people in informal settings who are not part of your immediate household . going to work, following the rules. going to school, and sticking with the people you live with. thisto get us through difficult winter. in some that we are, shoulds, on the last lap make doing some of these difficult things that we have been doing for months a little easier to put up with. andw more months of masks distance and covid precautions, and not letting our guard down, is right there in front of us, and the right thing to do.
and if people stay home and celebrate small this year, it will help everybody work their way through the the beginning of next year. we have a chance here to play offense. but it is critically important for all of us to do the things we need to do to get from here to there. with that, i will turn it over to secretary sudders. sec. sudders: good afternoon. governor, lieutenant governor, thank you for joining us. everyone. as the governor indicated, our plan for the first round of vaccine shipments maximizes lifesaving care for her most vulnerable residents and protects our health care workers. workrming covid-facing duties so our health care system
can continue to respond to our health care needs. in the coming weeks, our vaccine plan will continue to be refined based on the anticipated federal authorizations, and the cadence of shipments from manufacturers. based on the federal guidance to date, we have been told to anticipate 300,000 initial first doses. 120,000of pfizer and of moderna, pending authorization. some of the first wave will also be allocated to the federal partnership to long-term care facilities that will begin on or around december 28. there have been questions on the shipping process for the vaccine in the last few days. to clarify, the department of public health places vaccine orders with the federal government on behalf of our providers. ism there, the vaccine shipped to hospital facilities directly from the manufacturer. in other words, the state does the planning, places the order, and the federal government activates the manufacturing and shipping authorization for the
provider. there's also been questions about how hospitals are approaching vaccinations for the staff. hospitals and other health care facilities know their employees and situations best, and are responsible for determining health care personnel in what cadence in their facilities are vaccinated. in the coming months, there'll be enough covid-19 vaccine to vaccinate all health care personnel. attestacility had to that they will administer the program consistent with the plan that was accepted by the governor, and by the federal government. at this time, it is covid-facing direct care employees, including direct work like dietary staff as examples. it was recommended and has been recommended that the vaccination process occur staggered over a number of days, in the event of any potential side effects, and to make sure you get the maximum number of staff.
over the next two weeks, 110,000 of the 120,000 doses of the moderna vaccine are expected to be shipped, pending fda approval. the doses go to hospitals, community health centers, and other large ambulatory care providers and practices. 10,000 are being held to account for provider new enrollments coming in, or other necessary provider adjustments. additionally, cvs and walgreens, beginwe're grateful for, vaccinating staff and residents in nursing homes the week on or about december 28 under the pharmacy partnership program. their doses come from the state's pfizer allocation. 000between 40,000 and 60, will be shipped to cvs and walgreens for nursing facilities. facilities.
this process is fast-moving, ever-changing, and we will continue to calibrate our plans. we will provide updates on a regular basis. yesterday i hosted a call with the department of public health, where more than 2700 to bejeweled participated regarding the vaccine rollout. the feedback helps, because it helps us target our question -- the questions into very specific faq's. for regular updates these visit mass.gov/covidvaccine to learn more about when you can expect to have access to the vaccine. individuals with questions about what days they can be vaccinated, can send an email to email@example.com v for prioritization clarifications. obviously there are a lot of questions. specificprovided a
email address for folks to say where does this type of position for. twice a week we will update the website to clarify where positions fit. for prioritization. shifting gears, this thursday, 4.5 million massachusetts residents will receive a message averring -- via the alert system. the public health commissioner will remind all of us of the increased risks of contracting and spreading covid-19 over the holiday season. the message will be sent in spanish and english. residents can choose to receive future messages by text, email, or phone in their preferred language by opting in at mass.g ov/covidalerts. as the governor indicated, our case and hospitalization numbers continue to increase. a troubling trend. hospitals are bound by the needs of all of their patients.
postponing elective surgeries in order to ensure capacity to meet their patients' full health care needs, covid and non-covid-related. to all of us, as we plan for the anddays, it is important essential to understand we are still very much in this second surge. snd because of this holiday need to look different. there are measures you can take to protect you self -- yourself and your loved ones. postpone or cancel travel this holiday. if you do travel, please ensure you comply with the mass travel order requirements. limit in-person gatherings to only the people you live with. your tightest bubble. keep it small. host a ritual holiday dinner with extended family and friends. it's important to remember any time gather with others, you increase the risk of contracting or spreading covid. not only risking your
own health, but others if you participate in festivities. if you or anyone in your household has been diagnosed with covid-19, has symptoms similar to covid, is waiting for a covid-19 test result, may have been exposed to someone with covid-19 in the last 10 days, or is at increased risk of severe illness from covid-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions. so instead of the traditional holiday dinner party, prepare foods for family and neighbors and deliver them. virtually attend your traditional holiday activities, such as a visit with santa, or whatever that may be. consider virtual caroling. people --link so the to the people you want to sing to. view holiday lights from your car. and when shopping, consider lower risk options like shopping online, or if you choose to shop in-person, wear your face
covering and keep your distance from others. and please remember to keep the basic preventative measures which we have heard so often, to wear a face covering, wash your hands, keep your distance, avoid groups. as the governor said, this is a one-time event. it is this holiday season. and if we all do this well, we will have much joy and celebration next year. please file the dph guidance to help stop the spread of covid-19 in our communities. for more information on the guidance, visit mass.gov/ho lidays. before you venture off on your holiday plans, please remember, actions have consequences. thank you. now it is my privilege to introduce melissa jocelyn, a nursing director at mass general hospital.
ms. jocelyn: good afternoon. thank you, governor baker, lieutenant governor polito, and secretary sudders, for your consistent leadership in these challenging times. on behalf of our medical colleagues, thank you for your support. we appreciate it. i would like to acknowledge and thank all of the medical personnel from across the country and those at mass general, and all of the patient care areas who have been working relentlessly caring for patients from all walks of life. we realize everyone is tired and hospital, and the settings are also tired and exhausted. we're tired of seeing people dying on breathing machines. more sadly, even dying alone. to connecte an ipad
a dying patient to their loved one. we know you are tired, as it's been too long yum! not been able to see your loved ones, and the tendency is to simply give up and returned to a sense of premature normalcy. there's light at the end of the tunnel, but remember, we are still in the tunnel. the sooner all of us adhere to the basics, not gathering in big crowds, keeping our bubble small, continuing to wear masks, washing your hands, practice social distancing, the sooner we will be able to hug our loved ones, celebrate the holidays, and return to our traditions. this is a on behalf of all of our nurses and health care colleagues, i do
want to join with the governor in asking, even begging each of you, to follow the state guidelines to refrain from gathering for the christmas holidays. we know this is a lot to ask, but this is a price to pay so you can celebrate freely with your loved ones after the pandemic is over, while keeping them safe. we are committed to continuing our fight against covid-19, and caring for each patient to comes to our hospitals. we just ask you to do your part, so you don't end up in the hospital, or worse, be the reason why your loved ones, your grandmother, niece, your own go, and up in the hospital due to covid-19. thank you.
>> i have a question. [inaudible] the question is, can you describe what the experience is right now in the hospitalist people are contemplating traveling for the holidays. right now, in the hospital we are seeing an uptick in covid patients. we are also seeing a lot more patients coming in who may have to degrade their care from the prior surge, because they have been waiting. in these patients are very, very, very sick. nurses, patient-care associates, doctors, nurse tired anders, are exhausted after seeing continuous laws every day. i will also share that there are times when patients who are non-covid come in with a primary chronic illness, and then we
find out that they are covid positive. that in itself presents a lot of stress on the system and the staff. we are also experiencing many capacity challenges. and when i say capacity challenges, i am also referring to bed availability. so if you are a patient coming to the hospital, it may mean you have to wait in the emergency room for a very long time, waiting for a bid to become available. and what we mean by that as far as the impact, also realizing that if you are now being among large crowds, also increasing your risk to contracting covid-19, also increasing the spread, which also increases our hospital volumes, that makes it very challenging to provide care for all our patients. >> how concerned are you about hospitals potentially being overwhelmed? >> i am gravely concerned.
i am very concerned about that. >> do you think more restrictions are needed? do we need to go back to what we did in the spring to prevent you guys for being overwhelmed? >> well, we really don't want to see what happened in the spring. that is why we are trying to enforce and reiterate a lot of the interventions we are asking communities to do. so wear your mask. practice social distancing. don't travel. remain in your immediate households. if you do all those things, that certainly can help reduce stress on the health care system. can you explain why it keeps getting worse? [inaudible] to try to explain to people why it is so critical for people to pay attention.
>> it is really critical for people to understand the threat to our system. that is covid-19. covid-19 does not discriminate. many residents, many people may not realize they are a carrier of the disease itself, because they may not experience symptoms. important tot is implement all the preventative measures. and that is so critical for all of us to remain safe and to be healthy, and to be able to provide the care all our patients deserve. othert are you seeing people aren't? what are you seeing firsthand? piecesof the unfortunate is that they liked of the symptoms aren't visual. so unless someone reports it to another person or discloses that information, and i think that provides a small -- revise a false sense of comfort.
the other component to that is, if there is a false sense of comfort related to that, than there is this belief that this really isn't real. anyone is welcome to come into the hospitals, and we see patients lying in bed's, on breathing machines, patients on different types of oxygen devices, our staff going into care for them at fear for their own lives. they have their own families at home. they have babies they need to care for. when they leave work, there is a concern that, i don't want to bring this home to my family, i don't want to put my family at risk. even during thanksgiving holidays, it would have been great for staff, nurses, patient care associates, physician colleagues, to go home and spend time with their loved ones. however, that was a sacrifice because we understood that if we did that, that would put the community at risk.
>> [inaudible] the data shows people of color more adversely impacted by covid-19. [inaudible] >> currently, i do feel safe taking the vaccine. when i look at dr. fauci, the science in our community, expert colleagues that massachusetts general hospital, i am very confident in taking the vaccine. and when the vaccine becomes available, i'm going to roll up my sleeve and to take that vaccine. this brings hope to us. this is the hope that we have been looking for. step incertainly major the right direction, in the pandemic. >> [inaudible] >> i do. i have an aunt who was very concerned, she is 70 years old,
and it was a matter of me having conversations with her. and allthink about sde those other kinds of things, it is a matter of looking at the timing during the time those things were happening, versus now. there is a lot more transparency, a lot more honesty. researcher who certainly helped create the vaccine, he is african-american and was also on dr. fauci's team. a lot ofs to reinforce the transparency around the development of the vaccine. >> [inaudible] howation around covid and they didn't think it was that big a deal, what do you think is next? >> i think it is not until the symptoms become more severe where they think, i didn't realize it could get this bad, i didn't realize, i thought it was
just a cough and my symptoms would remain mild. they are resigned to the reality that they are than in the hospital and we are escalating the level of care because they have become so sick. i think that brings home the reality. matt, before you ask your question, i want to say one thing because it is on point. i got a text message the other who ism a friend of mine no fan of most of what i have done over the course of the past 10 months. he was texting me from the hospital, during a moment when he wasn't on a machine. because he is having trouble breathing.
at an event where no one wore a mask. and he said, now that i have it, be andow brutal this can honestly, i am scared to death, not just for me, but for my family. one of the great, one of the most insidious things about covid is this incredible dispersion in what it does to individuals. i have a long list of people i i got it, i said
lost my sense of smell, i didn't have any symptoms, it felt like i had allergies, it wasn't that had. -- that bad. and i am sure they have told that story hundreds and hundreds of times. but i also have a bunch of friends who got really sick. i have other friends who lost family members. and guess what? they don't tell that story very much, because it is sad and rude to. which is part of the reason why we asked justin to be here today. fact,ak to the very real this thing is for real. and the fact that a bunch of people don't get that sick and carried around and give it to
others who might get really sick is a daily occurrence, not just here in massachusetts, but all over the place. a report from the hospitals on how to distribute the vaccines [inaudible] governor baker: i might let mary lou speak to that. but generally, we are trying to make sure the vaccines get to where they are supposed to go when they are supposed to get there, and that people have plans in place that are signed off by us and the feds to implement against the terms and conditions of the plan we developed. ?ou want to speak to this seen islan you have broad, it is in three phases. it is about 5.8 million people,
so it is a plan that is going to keep evolving. the state's oversight role is one to ensure that, as the governor said, we submit allocations, ensure the manufacturers have developed a vaccine to where we put the allocation. and that part of the supply chain seems reasonably in good shape. and then, it is to ensure that this is a two-dose regimen. ones not just ensuring that dose is administered, but that the second doses are also administered. --terms of over strike oversight, we will be ensuring first doses, and then the provider gets enough for second doses, and individuals get two doses of the right regimen, obviously one thing we will be looking at. we also will be looking to ensure that these have a shelf life, and we will be very
ring withmonito hospitals and other providers that what is allocated is administered. because this is obviously hope, and this is wanting to vaccinate 5.8 million people in the course of months here. so ensuring the vaccines go to where we have tasked them to go that hospitals and that -- tasked them to go, that hospitals have first and second doses to administer, and we will do random audits to make sure that facilities are in compliance, which means that they are comported to the plan the governor approved, and that is federal government approved. we will be putting up the public dashboard which i am sure at the beginning, why don't you bring out this data, so we will continue to update the public dashboard once a week to see where we are going in massachusetts. the number of providers,
long-term care is very important to us. that is a federal partnership. but we will be putting out who has gotten the vaccines, the names of the facilities and the like. >> speak to the distributions [inaudible] do you have a date? it -- will doc personnel be administrating it? [inaudible] >> first is obviously health care. responders and corrections. congregate care is where corrections comes in. there are a number of streams in this. we have corrections, group homes like department of public health, small and large congregate care, both state operated and state contracted, as well as correctional facilities, both doc and our
houses of corrections. each of these work streams as a different set of parameters. for the department of corrections, for example, they have a medical provider, so we are working with the department of corrections on who would be the best metrical entity, if you entity, if youl would come into administer the vaccinations, and if they have a medical provider that is preferred. if there is already in established relationship, we would rather use an established relationship rather than bringing in a new one, because this is large and may get you want to work with where you have respected relationships, so the medical provider for the department of corrections is our provider at this point. >> a lot of people think you can still get [inaudible] what is your recommendation on that?
under an hour? is obviouslystance better than sitting close on the couch. have asked ad we lot of people, is to really rethink this holiday season so that we can all celebrate year in the way that is important to us and our traditions. to get into what if you are outside, a blizzard and the like, this holiday season, take the long view. and whatever sacrifices there are, however hard they are, that we can celebrate and have joined a deer. my holidays very different this year than it has ever been. all these holidays, like many other people. so we are really saying, this year, this time, just be smart, be different, keep it small.
so wear faceelieve coverings at all times, including in your home, so the holiday photos will be a little bit odd this year, but next your we will look at them and say, we all have smiles. i am really asking people to go deep and really think about next year's celebrations with all those people that we love. i had a hospital ceo tell me that the pfizer vaccine -- [inaudible] is it working out that way? >> part of our allocation and request had to do where you had cold storage. so the pfizer vaccine has been prioritized to those facilities that have culture cold storage available to them, the moderna
being for folks who have freezers. part of our pfizer allocation is going to cvs and walgreens for the nursing home distribution, because cvs and walgreens both have all for code storage -- both have ultra cold storage facilities. moderna is for smaller hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and practices and the like. our planning is around who has the capacity to accept the dry ice packages and ultra cold storage. and we are lucky in massachusetts that we have a number of hospitals that have ultra cold storage. but the pfizer, the 40,000 to 60,000 initial to go to cvs and wall street -- cvs and walgreens are from pfizer. >> [inaudible] thing abouthe planning, you just keep planning. we have lots of contingencies
all the time. and you never know, it is new england. maybe it doesn't snow. 17 facilities are deceiving vaccines. the governor and i were on a thiswith hospital ceos morning, there were expecting at around 7:00 this morning and nothing the vaccines showed up in a warehouse around 5:00 this morning. shipments occur even during blizzards, my friend. >> can i get an update on the field hospitals? staffing issues? >> sure. had 75 patients it -- patients, and it has discharged 40. and they are ramping up to have capacity for 75 patients.
right now, they can staff up to about 50 patients. and they are hoping to have sufficient staffing the beginning of next week for 75 patients. the rollout of worchester, i haven't seen the photos today, but my staff informed me the buildout is going well. sorry, the field hospital in lowell is undergoing buildout right now. it looks very good, according to my staff. and we are hoping that will be online at the end of december, which is about two weeks. >> [inaudible] tojust like lowell, similar umass, they are recruiting staff. and we will do it in the same way of phasing in staffing. settings --e care >> [inaudible]
>> i do not know the answer to that question. we will have to get back to you. i do know that people get their tests every day. on quarantining, i don't have that answer. are vaccines going to be issued to people who are in voluntary -- who are in solitary confinement? staff and inmates, all staff, all inmates. [inaudible] yeah, modified.
>> [inaudible] governor baker: from the beginning of this, our basic approach to dealing with this, statewide and local income is to take the position that whatever direction we are going, we are basically going to set a statewide platform, and then locals, if they think they need to move in a different direction, can. and if you think about the reopening, which lieutenant governor knows every single detail starting may 18, when we be opened, we reopened on a set of a statewide schedule. there were communities that follow the same schedule we did and there were communities that didn't. you couldn't go faster than we went, but you could go slower, and there were a bunch of communities that went slower on
reopening that we did on particular things to the same thing has been through with respect to some steps we have taken to tighten over the course the past 6, 7nth, weeks. and some communities have done more than we have, which they are permitted to do. the most recent example before this was probably pittsfield, we shut down indoor dining for a few weeks. i want to give locals the ability, if they believe they need to be in a different place, to make that decision. because not everybody in massachusetts easy in the same place all the time. one of the things mayor walsh talked about that was important to him was to start ringing some of the special needs kids back, and he felt taking this move was an important part with respect to that. i respect that, just like i did when he chose not to reopen construction in the spring. we did reopen it on a statewide
basis and across the commonwealth, and most other folks went ahead, and the lieutenant governor and i have been two events that were important to local communities that involve completion of projects that they said wouldn't have been completed if we just shut construction down in the spring, which we didn't. so i am ok people making decisions based on what they think makes most sense to them. if theemiologist subset state doesn't tighten restrictions now, we will be in a nearly untenable situation by january. what is your response? started baker: when we the reopening process, people said it was point to fail. what are me, jonathan, people going to say about our reopening program? and i said, people are going to say it is too fast and it is going to spike, or they're going to say it is not enough, and you
need to open things up. i fully expect every decision i have made, that we have made come over the past 10 months, will get challenged from both sides. and that is exactly what has happened. do what we have chosen to throughout is to talk to colleagues in the health care community, colleagues and the public health community, and do everything we could to balance all the various issues involved and make what we think are the most appropriate decisions for the commonwealth. we are basically at 1700 on the hospitalization piece? around 1700 on hospitalizations. we were around 4000 in the spring. around 350 in the icu
and we were north of 1000 in the spring. if you talk to almost anybody in the health care world, they will tell you, we talked about it earlier, they know more about this virus that they knew in the -- about this virus than they knew in the spring. they believe they are better at treating people with it now than they were in the spring, both from a prospect management point of view, but also in tombs of therapeutics -- in terms of therapeutics and tools they have available to them. we are going to continue balancing all the various concerns people have in the best interests of massachusetts. for weeks now, months, i and others on both sides of the aisle have been working our colleagues in washington to see if we can get them to finally come to terms on a support
withge for the country respect to many of the issues that remain with regard to testing, tracing, vaccines, housing, food security, economic recovery, support for small .usiness, educational issues basedcontinue to believe on the conversations i have had lately, that something may happen on this by the end of the week. and that would be a giant christmas present, hanukkah present, kwanzaa present, new year's gift, to the people of this country, also many of the issues that create this balancing act we are all struggling with. >> [inaudible] the bristol county health or director health
[inaudible] governor baker: how long ago was this thing issued? it ok if i read it before i respond? >> [inaudible] governor baker: no, i am not. that whenink you know we have a chance to look at it, we will get back to you with a response. but i am not going to respond something i haven't heard about, don't know about and haven't read. i don't think i'm being unreasonable. >> [inaudible]
governor baker: first of all, we did express concerns about putting a major policy like that into the budget in the first place, which was a concern shared by both democrats and republicans. rmously proude eno of the work we have done with our colleagues in the legislature on a bipartisan basis to expand women's health worstes and expand the laws on the books with respect to this issue that date practically centuries. and the response we made to the amendment in the budget was numberd to respond to a of the issues we felt needed to be addressed by a continued decision to expand access. if proposal we made, enacted, would give massachusetts some of the broadest and most significant
reproductive health rights in the united states. theany cases, we cited with tone and tenor of the house language that debate. -- language during that debate. i haven't heard anything with respect to what you brought up, math, but we will see how this plays out. thank you, everybody. -- brought up, and now live to london for british prime minister's questions time. each week the house of commons is in session weeping