As COVID-19 cases begin to soar in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced his administration is once again making plans to open field hospitals. “We’re in the process of working with MEMA [Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency] and with hospital officials to identify suitable locations to locate and staff facilities,” Baker said during a press conference. The make-shift hospitals, he said, are in addition to the state’s plan to make 400 additional ICU beds available in hospital facilities.
To date, 9,936 people have died and 167,929 more have been infected with the deadly virus in Massachusetts. So far, officials say the hospital occupancy rate in the state is about 67 percent. Last month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported the state had an average of 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day—an alarming number that jumped to 2,000 cases on Nov. 6 and 7. As public health officials prepare for an increase of cases this winter, Baker applauded his state for their “incredible work to fight this virus since March.” “But recently folks have left their guard down,” he said. “That’s evidenced by the spikes we’re seeing in positive cases statewide.”