Gov. Baker said today that the state's second Covid-19 field hospital will be assembled inside the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston.
Baker did not provide details of its capacity, at his daily press conference, which he held at the DCU Center in Worcester, in front of National Guard and other workers now turning that facility into a 250-bed "step-down" facility, for people who have Covid-19 but who have recovered enough that they no longer need more intensive care in a regular hospital.
Baker said we could see another couple of temporary hospitals put up. He said exactly where will depend on planning and numbers for several specific regions in the state, which he said included areas such as Boston, Cape Cod, the Merrimack Valley, central Massachusetts and the Berkshires.
He said the National Guard already had what he called "a cookbook" to quickly assemble field hospitals, and that while some dorms and hotels might eventually be repurposed for Covid-19 use, convention centers and arenas are probably better, because they have large spaces that can be turned into care facilities more quickly.
Baker declined to comment on ensuring medical workers have the gear they need to fight Covid-19, such as the 1,000 ventilators he had earlier said the federal government had promised the state. "I think we're going to have a lot more to say about gear tomorrow, and I'll leave it at that," he said.
He added he has hired a former prosecutor from the US Attorney's office to find out what the hell happened at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, where some 13 residents died in a week. He added that although the Chelsea Soldiers Home now has its own coronavirus outbreak - with two residents dead - he is confident that "I don't think we're looking at the possibility of another Holyoke in Chelsea, no, I don't," in part because administrators there "followed all the rules and protocols they were supposed to follow" and didn't try to hide anything.