Baker tours Worcester field hospital, announces second facility at BCEC

WORCESTER, Mass. — As Governor Charlie Baker took a tour of the state’s first field hospital, set up at Worcester’s DCU Arena, he later announced a second facility would be set up at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Accompanied by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Baker took a look inside the field hospital as members of the National Guard were hard at work, setting up partitions to separate hospital beds.

“I can’t help but think the city of Worcester is ready for this moment, but they’re made for this moment,” said Polito. “I hope that in the midst of the chaos, and the sadness and the disruption that COVID-19 brings to all of us, that you too feel inspired by the amazing men and women who literally are gowning up and gearing up with more.”

In total, the facility will have 250 beds as well as 10 Intensive Care Units in order to properly treat COVID-19 patients in efforts to ease the overload to the state’s hospital system. Patients at the makeshift hospital’s ICU unit will be placed there temporarily before being transported to a hospital.

According to Baker, the BCEC is a good option for a second field hospital due to its open floor plan and ample space.

“When you have an open floor plan like this you have the flexibility to literally take one of these designs that’s basically built to be built quickly, to solve a particular set of problems and has been proven on a number of occasions to be successful,” said Baker.

Baker says he’s hoping to open a field hospital in every part of that state, not only in Boston and Worcester but also down on the Cape and in the Merrimack Valley. When it comes to empty dorms and hotel rooms, state leaders say they plan on using those in other ways, but still keeping in mind they will be used to support health care workers.

“We expect and anticipate that in parts of Massachusetts dormitories and hotels are going to be used for a variety of purposes that have to do with supporting healthcare workers and in some cases probably used for isolation and quarantine opportunities,” said Baker.

The field hospital at the DCU Arena is set to be ready by the end of the week. Now, state leaders are looking for volunteers to start medical training so they can begin treating patients by the end of the week.

You can sign up to become a health professional volunteer with the state to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic here.

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