BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday the state will be reopening one COVID-19 field hospital to deal with the recent increase in patients hospitalized with the virus.
Gov. Baker said the DCU Center in Worcester will be reopened as a field hospital, making another 240 bed available. The center will be staffed through a clinical partnership with the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.
Baker said he expects the site to be ready to take coronavirus patients by the first week of December.
"Worcester has what I would describe as the biggest issue at the moment," Gov. Baker said. "You're likely going to see us set up other [field hospitals.]"
The DCU Center was the first location in the state to convert to a COVID-19 field hospital in April, and according to the Boston Globe, it saw 275 patients in total.
Baker said that the state's hospitals are currently at 73 percent capacity for non-intensive care unit beds, and 50 percent capacity for intensive care unit beds.
While Baker said most people in Massachusetts have been following COVID-19 health guidelines "most of the time," he said hospitalizations and case numbers have been on the rise since Labor Day.
Baker added that there is evidence from across the country showing a big part of the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is due to "the individual acts of many people, engaged in familiar activities on a casual basis with people they're familiar with."
"At the end of the day, the tools we've put together can only go so far. We can only set up so many extra beds," Baker said. "Every single person in Massachusetts needs to appreciate the significance of their role in dealing with the spread of this virus. People need to change their behavior and get serious about who they spend time with, how they act, and why Massachusetts is at risk primarily because of a lot of the things people do when they put down their guard."
(Photo: Gov. Baker/Twitter)