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COVID-19 Field Hospital Construction Starts Thursday In Worcester

National Guard building a field hospital in April, 2020
National Guard building a field hospital in April, 2020 Photo Credit: Photo by Master Sgt. George Roach, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Starting tomorrow, some downtown city streets will be closed to make way for the construction of a temporary COVID-19 field hospital.

On Thursday, Nov. 19, starting at 8 a.m., Commercial Street from Exchange Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Worcester will be closed, police said.

A temporary hospital is being constructed at the DCU Center by the National Guard.

The streets will be reopened once the project is complete, Worcester Police said.

The Worcester DCU site is the first Massachusetts field hospital to reopen out of the five created in response to COVID-19 over the spring. The DCU field hospital opened in April but closed in May when infection rates were lower.

The temporary hospital is being built ahead of what some government and health officials said is another wave of COVID-19 infections.

“The Commonwealth continues to see an alarming rise in cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 and we are acting now to expand hospital capacity,” said Governor Charlie Baker

“All residents are urged to follow guidance to wear masks, stay home at night, and stop gathering," he said. "We are preparing our hospital system to add more beds and stand up our first field hospital to care for COVID-19 patients if these trends continue. We will keep working with our health care system to monitor capacity and will be prepared to open more locations if needed.”

The Worcester field hospital should be ready to start treating patients in December, Baker said. It will be able to accommodate up to 240 patients. Additional field hospitals will be opened in other areas of the state if needed.

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