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Field Hospitals Ready To Treat Coronavirus Patients In Boston, Worcester

BOSTON (CBS) -- While Massachusetts' first coronavirus field hospital opened its doors to patients in Worcester Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a second one is opening Friday. The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center has been transformed into a facility called Boston Hope. It will be managed by Partners HealthCare.

"By transitioning patients with COVID-19 from our acute hospitals to Boston Hope, we can make more beds available for patients in our acute hospitals who require the level of care available in those hospitals," said Dr. Anne Klibanski, president of Partners HealthCare.

Boston Hope promises to relieve Boston hospitals already inundated by coronavirus patients before even hitting the expected peak. It will also provide 500 beds for the city's homeless population.

The Boston Exhibition and Convention Center has been turned into a coronavirus field hospital. (WBZ-TV)

"Our members built a 1,000-room hospital in five days," said Sean OBrien, the president of Teamsters Local 25, representing the workers who built the facility. "I think that was the biggest challenge, knowing that you're creating a safe haven where people can be treated and hopefully cured of this disease, but in the meantime, while you're building it, you could be sacrificing your own health."

In Worcester, healthcare experts expect the 214 beds at the pop-up hospital inside the DCU Center will be enough to fill the need, but in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh said he wasn't as confident.

"If we see these types of numbers going up for the next 14 days…We're talking 10,000 people that will have coronavirus in Boston alone, on top of the 3,000 that have it now. We're working very closely with the hospitals," he said.

The state has set up a web page for healthcare workers to apply to work at any of the state's temporary coronavirus care centers.

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