Gov. Baker Announces $800M in Funding for Mass. Health Care Providers to Fight Coronavirus

The governor also continued to urge residents to practice social distancing as the surge approaches

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced that the state plans to invest $800 million into local hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

He said the money comes from a combination of cuts to other areas of the state budget.

He said the funding comes in addition to the $290 million in immediate cash relief and $550 million in accelerated payments to health care providers announced last month.

Gov. Baker provides an update on COVID-19.

Baker said testing capacity in the state continues to expand, with 76,429 patients tested as of Monday, and 4,500 tests conducted over the past 24 hours.

"We're making a lot of progress, but we also know there's much to do," he said, highlighting the opening of a rapid testing site in Lowell on Tuesday in conjunction with CVS.

Baker also said his administration is continuing to work with the state's 1,000 congregated care facilities, which house mostly seniors, to make sure they have access to adequate testing.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has been getting praise for his steady hand during the coronavirus crisis and occasionally showing his human side.

He also reminded residents to continue to socially distance and take other necessary precautions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I'm extremely grateful for everything everyone has done to help us mitigate the spread of this virus in what has been a difficult and trying time," Baker said. "The coming weeks will be crucial in fighting this disease, and especially fighting this surge."

Clinical trials are underway in Boston for a drug that could help patients with respiratory issues so that they may not need a ventilator.

The governor said last week that the latest models show the coronavirus surge is expected to hit Massachusetts between April 10 and April 20.

Right now, there are nearly 14,000 cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 260 deaths.

Two key member's of Baker's leadership team have tested positive for the coronavirus — Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco.

Most coronavirus cases in children are not as severe as adults, according to the CDC. Children are still at risk, however.

On Monday, the governor and First Lady Lauren Baker announced the formation of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to help assist those most impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The fund will help support front-line workers and other vulnerable communities, partnering with community foundations and nonprofits to deploy the funds quickly.

Launched with $1.8 million from the Massachusetts One8 Foundation, the fund starts with over $13 million to distribute. It will be administered, free of charge, by Eastern Bank.

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