BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Convention and Event Center will open Friday as Boston’s first coronavirus field hospital. The move comes one day after the state’s first coronavirus field hospital opened in Worcester.
The BCEC, which will be referred to as the Boston Hope Medical Center, is equipped with 1,000 beds. Half of the beds are dedicated to COVID-19 patients and half are for the homeless. The goal is to serve patients who no longer need acute care in order to lighten the load of coronavirus patients at actual hospitals.
Staffing the hospital is still a concern. On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker issued two executive orders aimed at making more medical personnel available: the first makes it easier for foreign-educated doctors to practice in the state and the second allows nursing school graduates and those in their last semester to practice if they are supervised by a licensed medical professional.
“I don’t think I have confidence that’s enough, I think it really is going to depend upon the surge in the next couple of days. I think that we are seeing, certainly, in Boston, an increase in numbers,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.
The hospital was created through a four-way partnership between the city, state, Partner’s Health Care and Boston Health Care for the Homeless.
Baker said, “I don’t have a crystal ball with respect to how long it’s going to last or how high it’s going to go. What I do have are a whole bunch of models and estimates and historical data to the extent it’s available and we’re taken that, and working with our colleagues in the health care community, developed what we believe is an appropriate increase in capacity.”
The governor also said 100 more ventilators were on their way to Massachusetts from the federal stockpile.