Worcester’s DCU Center being transformed into 250-bed field medical station

As state officials prepare for a surge in coronavirus cases, Worcester’s DCU Center is being transformed into a 250-bed field medical station.

Setup at the indoor arena and convention center complex in downtown Worcester is slated to begin on Wednesday after the federal government approved the DCU Center as a medical station site.

It will be equipped to treat those who are sickened by the coronavirus but not in critical condition, according to Gov. Charlie Baker. The state is preparing for a surge in coronavirus cases between April 7 and April 17.

“As we get ready to face what we’re predicting to be the surge in Massachusetts, these actions will help ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and the impact the surge has on our healthcare system,” he said.

UMass Memorial CEO Dr. Eric Dickson added that, “Our entire strategy has been to slow the spread of this deadly virus. We came up with a plan to create surge capacity, we all decided the DCU is the best place for that to occur.”

About 90 health care workers, mostly UMass Memorial Health Care physicians and nurses, will staff the facility, with oversight from state and local leaders. But officials are calling on nursing, pharmaceutical, and medical students to help as well.

As of Tuesday, there were 6,620 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Bay State and 89 deaths.

Baker announced that he is extending the stay-at-home advisory and closure of non-essential businesses through May 4 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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