DCU Center In Worcester Receives More Patients Than Expected In First Week

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Healthcare workers at the Covid-19 field hospital in Worcester had to readjust after receiving more patients than expected in the first week of reopening.

The facility at the DCU Center opened it's doors for the second time on Sunday, where staff planned to start with 25 hospital beds. But by mid-week, 30 patients with Covid-19 were admitted.

According to Dr. John Broach, the field hospital’s Medical Director, the facility "stacked up quickly" with staff in order to meet the increased demand for care.

"Five out of 30 might not seem like a big deal unless you’re one of those five," he said. "And if you’re one of those five it makes a big difference to have the right number of nurses and doctors and staff here to take care of you.”

By Sunday the facility is expecting to have 50 beds, eventually planning to treat around 220 patients at full capacity.

Dr. Broach tells WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas that staffing is being ramped up to accommodate the continued surge in cases.

He added that the Commonwealth case load going up dramatically is likely related to the colder weather, along with Thanksgiving celebrations last month.

“If we wear masks, if we stay distanced from each other, we can make sure that we never end up having to ration healthcare," Broach said. "Or do any of the other draconian things that everybody wants to avoid.”

As of Wednesday the state's seven-day average rate of positive coronavirus tests has risen to nearly 5.9 percent, which is almost double the average rate of positive tests reported at the start of November.

Both ICU and non-intensive care hospital beds in Massachusetts are filling up quickly, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

More than 80 percent of non-intensive care hospital beds in the state are currently occupied, and 65 percent of the commonwealth's ICU beds are full.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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