BOSTON (WPRI) — Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday the state will be reopening one of their field hospitals as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Since Labor Day, Baker said cases have increased by seven times and hospitalizations by two times.
“The numbers clearly have been trending in the wrong direction since the end of summer,” he said.
On Friday, the Mass. Department of Health reported 2,674 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and an additional 23 COVID-19-related deaths.
Hospitals are currently operating at 73% of capacity in the state, according to the governor, and the ICU is operating at about 50% of capacity.
He said Massachusetts’ hospitals plan to create an additional 400 beds on their own by converting acute care beds to the ICU.
“The command center and MEMA are continuing to have discussions with other hospitals and local officials to identify other locations for field hospitals if they are needed,” Baker said.
The state will also be reestablishing a field hospital with 240 beds at DCU in Worcester, the governor announced. They expect it to be open by the first week of December.
On Thursday, Massachusetts reached a “tragic milestone,” Baker added, reaching 10,000 COVID-19 related deaths.
The governor partially blamed residents expanding their social circles since the spring for the increase in cases, not just in Massachusetts, but across the country.
“If you are not around members of your immediate family, and I mean your immediately family, you should wear a mask, indoors and outdoors,” Baker said.
Baker also mentioned youth hockey being the cause of some coronavirus clusters in the state.
Rhode Island and Massachusetts were among seven states to suspend interstate youth hockey on Thursday, along with Massachusetts’ state officials making changes to their guidelines for youth sports.