Gov. Charlie Baker will instruct hospitals in Massachusetts to postpone elective inpatient procedures that impact patient capacity to lighten the burden hospitals face as COVID-19 cases surge after the Thanksgiving holiday. The change goes into effect Friday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said the order is "not a blanket across-the-board curtailment" like the one that the state imposed last spring.

"This is a limited curtailment of elective procedures to promote the redeployment of staff that perform nonessential elective procedures to support the essential and urgent inpatient medical care," Sudders said.

The change comes as the state reported over 4,700 new cases of coronavirus infection on Sunday. The seven-day average of new cases has spiked from 2,654 two weeks ago to more than 4,554 — in large part, according to Baker, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

"No one ever wants to be lectured to, and I get that. But there is a legitimate cause and effect thing going on here," Baker said of the state's skyrocketing positive test rate in the days after holiday get-togethers.

"Honestly, if you were to say to me the thing I worry about the most, (it) is still the informal gatherings, because there are no masks. There are no rules. There are no guidance. There are no time limits. I mean, it's a completely different problem" than regulated restaurant dining, Baker said.

Baker hinted several times throughout his Monday press conference that he is considering further restrictions on the public to slow the spread of the pandemic, but he did not offer any specifics.

"The key question here for us is what kinds of things can we do that we actually believe will change the way people think about how they behave. And that's what we plan to speak about later," Baker said.

Baker also announced the expansion of free COVID-19 testing facilities in several locations, including Cape Cod and western Massachusetts. The state will also expand testing in the hot-spot regions of New Bedford, Framingham and Lynn, with new sites coming online in Falmouth, Pittsfield, Amherst and other areas.

"That's an increase of 17 communities compared to when we launched to stop the spread program back in July," Baker said of the expansion.

Baker said he will provide details on the state's plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines later this week.