With cases continuing to climb in the second surge of the coronavirus crisis, the Massachusetts National Guard is helping to get a field hospital in Worcester up and running by this weekend.
Members of the National Guard are on site of the DCU Center on Monday to complete the field hospital's infrastructure. The 240-bed facility, run by UMass Memorial Health Care, is expected to open for patient care on Sunday, Dec. 6, according to a spokesman.
"We are thankful to the Massachusetts National Guard for their hard work on this project and for all that they do to serve the people of our Commonwealth," UMass Memorial spokesman Anthony Berry said.
As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to soar both in the city and across the state, the field hospital will supplement hospitals by providing lower-level in-patient coronavirus treatment to avoid overwhelming the health care system.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced preparations to re-establish the field hospital at the DCU Center earlier this month. Baker said that case growth and hospitalization trends have been heading in the wrong direction since the end of summer.
Meanwhile, public health officials and medical experts continue to warn of rising case numbers during the holiday season.
Massachusetts health officials reported just over 2,500 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, as the average positivity rate continues to climb toward 4%.
The 2,501 new confirmed positive cases brings the total to 217,163 in the state since the start of the pandemic, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Forty-six new deaths were also reported, meaning 10,487 in all have died in Massachusetts. There have been another 235 deaths among probable cases of COVID-19 at this time.