Gov. Charlie Baker says Massachusetts hospitals, equipment stockpiles, contact tracers and public health authorities are ready for an escalation of COVID-19 to hit Massachusetts this fall.

"We've done the work. We're prepared to respond to this virus like never before. But our preparations are of little use without the people of Massachusetts continuing to do their part," Baker said at a press conference Tuesday.

Baker said he and his staff have long predicted an uptick in coronavirus transmission in the cooler months that public health data now suggests could be upon us. Baker didn't use the term "surge". Last spring, that's how he described the coronavirus epidemic that hit the state. Baker, instead, spoke of an expected "uptick".

"We've been preparing for that. And we've done a lot of work to put ourselves in a position in Massachusetts where we can identify cases early and do the work associated with stopping the spread," Baker said.

Baker and several of his cabinet members gave a lengthy review of how the state has fought the virus over the past eight months and its preparations to combat more cases now. The updates came a day after Baker rolled out a plan to prevent evictions that some say doesn't go far enough to confront a wave of housing court cases after the state's eviction moratorium expires on Saturday.

Maddie Ribble from the Massachusetts Public Health Association called Baker's plan "woefully inadequate to the situation we find ourselves in" to meet the challenge of thousands of residents going through eviction proceedings.

"This crisis is going to compound our situation with COVID-19 and most likely lead not only to housing instability and homelessness, but increased spread of COVID-19," Ribble said.

Baker defended the $171 million plan to enhance rent stability programs, provide mediation between landlords and tenants and recall retired judges to work on the caseload, as well as his decision to let the ban on evictions lapse this weekend.

"The longer the moratorium stayed in place, the deeper the hole would become that everybody would have to find a way out of the uncertainty and the difficulty of continuing to just let that problem fester, from our point of view, was the wrong move at this time," Baker said.

Ribble told GBH News that beyond greater resources, the Legislature should pass a guaranteed housing stability bill, which would extend the ban on evictions and foreclosures, freeze rents and add other consumer protections.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Robert DeLeo said additional housing legislation "is a topic of discussion between the House, the Administration, stakeholders and advocates as well as the Courts," and that under the law already passed by both branches, Baker can extend the moratorium if he chooses to.

The office of Senate President Karen Spilka did not respond to requests for comment on whether lawmakers would vote on a similar bill.

While Baker championed his administration's work on the virus, lawmakers were hearing details on why COVID-19 hit the state's nursing homes and long term care facilities earlier this year. Nearly two-thirds of all Massachusetts deaths have been associated with care facilities.

"To date, the Commonwealth has committed more than $400 million in new funding, in addition, plus $180 million in federal dollars to strengthen nursing homes with regard to staffing, infection control procedures, PPE, all with a focus on quality," said Baker health secretary Marylou Sudders.

The Legislature's Elder Affairs Committee's oversight hearing is scheduled to feature testimony from Baker administration officials, caregiver union representatives, the nursing home industry and others to determine where the state went wrong and what remedies have been put in place.