WORCESTER (CBS) – In just one week, crews transformed the DCU Center into the state’s first field hospital in the coronavirus crisis. And now it’s open.

Opening their doors to their first patients at 7 a.m. Thursday, WBZ-TV got an inside look at the finished product in the final minutes leading up to that moment.

Organizers are anticipating up to 10 patients Thursday, and as many as 10 more Friday to make sure all of their processes are in place.

Booths for treating coronavirus patients. (WBZ-TV)

The equipment includes 214 beds, all equipped with oxygen that was piped in from tanks outside.

The elaborate system was installed to try and lighten the load on hospitals in central Massachusetts ahead of the anticipated surge of coronavirus cases, which heath officials believe will be sometime from April 10-20.

A bed in the DCU Center field hospital in Worcester. (WBZ-TV)

Peter Lancette, the associate chief nursing officer for field operations said he is excited to get started at the DCU Center facility.

“We’ve set up our check list, we’ve checked all the boxes. We are ready to go. Let’s just get it going,” he said.

Part of the setup inside DCU Center. (WBZ-TV)

They have the staff in place to start working 12-hour shifts.

One thousand applicants signed up to help. A total of 20 direct care providers will likely be at the field hospital in these early stages.


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