COVID-19 field hospital re-opening in Worcester

BOSTON, M.A. (WLNE) — In response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Governor Charlie Baker said the state will re-open a field hospital at the DCU Center in Worcester.

The facility will house 240 patient beds and will be run by staff from UMass Medical Center in Worcester, with help from the National Guard. 

Governor Baker said the state’s hospitals are currently operating at 73% capacity, while ICU occupancy is about 50%. 

“Last spring, we made the very difficult decision to have hospitals focus almost exclusively on COVID patients at the expense of almost everything else to ensure we had enough capacity,” Baker said Friday.

“As a result, many people put off getting routine care and, in some cases, serious medical care,” Baker continued. “And that created a secondary problem.”

On Thursday, the state surpassed the 10,000 Coronavirus death threshold. 

Currently in Bristol County, there are more than 15,000 positive cases of COVID-19.

“We actually have over 21 new cases per day per 100,000 people,” Attleboro mayor, Paul Heroux, told ABC 6 Friday. 

“Previously we had about 12 cases per day per 100,00 people and that was in the red zone,” Heroux said.

Massachusetts recently changed its color-coding criteria, which identifies the percent positivity rate in each city. 

Under new guidelines, Attleboro, a city that spent nearly two months in the red zone now finds itself in the yellow, but has nearly twice as many positive cases as before.

“We’re in a bad spot right now,” Mayor Heroux said Friday.

Governor Baker said the state will continue looking at other locations should addition field hospitals be needed. 

(c) WLNE-TV // ABC 6  2020

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Regional News