LOWELL (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced that the state will be constructing a second field hospital as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the state. The latest facility will be opened in Lowell in the coming weeks.
Baker made the announcement Thursday following a tour of the DCU Center in Worcester, where a field hospital has been set up to be run by UMass Memorial.
A field hospital operated in Boston’s Seaport District in the spring, but officials said Thursday there are not any plans to open one again at this time.
“There is some reason for optimism, given all the news we’ve been hearing about vaccines over the past few days. But there’s still much work ahead to stop the spread of COVID from infecting more people here in Massachusetts,” said Baker.
Details for where the hospital in Lowell would be set up have not yet been announced.
A field hospital at UMass Lowell’s campus recreation center was up and running during the original coronavirus surge. It closed in May after being used to help Lowell General Hospital with surge conditions.
On Wednesday, Massachusetts reported 4,613 new coronavirus cases, a one-day record for the state.
UMass Memorial Healthcare President Eric Dickson said following Baker’s tour of the DCU Center field hospital that “We don’t want this to be the second surge; we want this to be the final surge.”
“Special thanks to the citizens of Massachusetts that are following the rules every day. They’re staying in when possible. They’re wearing their masks. They’re social distancing. Then when they do go out, they see people that aren’t following the rules. It’s because of those people that we have this field hospital coming up again.”