The president of Massachusetts General Hospital said Sunday he was hopeful the state's coronavirus outbreak had reached its peak, despite the climbing death toll and total number of cases.
"I think there’s encouraging news at our hospital and around the state that although the numbers are increasing, they’re increasing more slowly and we’re hopeful that the peak is either here or will be here in the next few days." Dr. Peter Slavin told NBC10 Boston in an interview.
The remarks come after the state on Saturday announced 156 new death from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, marking the fifth day in a row in which more than 100 deaths were reported.
As of Saturday, the death toll stood at 1,560, while the tally of people who tested positive numbers was at 36,372. Another 1,970 positive cases were reported Saturday by the Department of Public Health.
Gov. Charlie Baker has said the state is currently experiencing its surge of cases, and every day since Tuesday, the health officials have reported new deaths in the triple-digits.
For weeks, public health officials have warned Massachusetts would see a spike in cases this month, with the surge arriving between April 10 and April 20.
Slavin said some 340 patients currently at Mass. General had tested positive for COVID-19. Some 100 patients were awaiting test results.
About 160 patients with the disease were in the intensive care unit, he said, adding the hospital was not at capacity.
"Because we’ve cancelled all elective activities, we still have plenty of beds, plenty of ICU capacity," he said.
Slavin said his hospital had been able to acquire an adequate supply of N95 masks but added it still needed more surgical gowns.
He lauded hospital staff for its work during the crisis, highlighting how difficult it has been to care for patients without their families present.
"The spirit of the hospital is unlike anything I have ever seen in 35 years being associated with Mass. General," he said.
"Caring for patients without their families around is a very odd situation for our staff and very disconcerting. and so they are using all sorts of imaginative ways to keep families involved in the care, even if it is just electronically."