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'Surge On A Surge': Mass. Rep. Dr. Jon Santiago Says COVID Hospitalizations Will Rise In January

WINTHROP (CBS) - The number of new coronavirus cases for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day topped 8,500 in Massachusetts, according to Saturday's report from the state's Department of Health.

A lawmaker who's also a medical professional saying as cases go up, it's putting a strain on hospital.

"We're in for it," said Dr. Jon Santiago of Boston Medical Center, insinuating the state is "in" for a tough January with the holidays now in the rearview mirror.

Dr. Jon Santiago, who is also a Democratic Massachusetts State Representative for the 9th Suffolk District, took to Twitter on New Year's Day after a long shift at Boston Medical Center.

He says the challenge is just beginning at hospitals across the state, with fewer and fewer beds available at emergency rooms.

"We are seeing hundreds of patients per day," Dr. Santiago said. "My concern is that given the holidays, that we're going to see a significant surge. A surge on a surge if you will."

There was a line on Saturday to get a coronavirus test in Winthrop wrapped around Walden Street. Tufts Medical Center epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron says one look at the lines should make people nervous for what's ahead.

"We saw long lines again before Christmas. It was in order to travel. It was in order to gather," Dr. Doron said.

She says it's going to be at least a couple weeks until we see the full effects from New Year's Eve.

"The Thanksgiving surge, with the Christmas surge on top, with any impact of New Year's really coming on top of that, and there isn't leeway to have that happen at this point, and so we're worried."

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