BCEC, dorms, hotels to play roles in virus fight

Visiting the Worcester arena that's now being turned into the state's first COVID-19 field hospital, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday disclosed plans to set up another medical center at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to bolster the capacity of the health care system as the state prepares for the coronavirus to surge in coming days.

Baker has projected a surge will arrive in Massachusetts between April 7 and April 17.

Baker, speaking to reporters from the DCU Center, said testing for the virus is a "key part" of determining where resources will be needed and said Massachusetts is now a leader among states in testing.

The governor said he'd have more to say Thursday about efforts to acquire personal protective equipment, a major focus of those on the front lines, and that he's expecting dormitories and hotels in part of the state to be used for a variety of purposes relating to the coronavirus, including potentially as isolation and quarantine facilities.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, a Shrewsbury resident, said she was proud to see Worcester hosting the state's first field hospital. "It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago, the governor declared a state of emergency, and it seems, I'm sure for all of you, that a few weeks ago, our lives were very different and seem so far away from where we are today," she said.