Coronavirus response: Field hospital at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to open for COVID-19 patients Friday as official

A field hospital at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is expected to start caring for coronavirus patients Friday, officials announced.

Clinical care for people diagnosed with COVID-19 will be provided at the center, located at 415 Summer St., Partners HealthCare said. The facility will have 1,000 beds available to patients, and the health care provider will oversee much of the operations.

Partners is collaborating with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in the effort dubbed “Boston Hope," according to a statement released Thursday.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh and their teams for the opportunity to bring our clinical skills to serve the patients who will be admitted to Boston Hope,” Anne Klibanski, CEO of Partners HealthCare, said in the statement. “In unprecedented times like these, we are grateful to be able to respond with every resource possible and work together to deliver the care and compassion patients deserve.”

Of the facility’s 1,000 beds, half will be for homeless individuals, and 500 will be for non-critical patients, Walsh said during a press conference Sunday. There will also be six acute-care suites, a physical therapy space, 52 nurses stations and 48 bathroom facilities.

Patients from hospitals both within and outside Partners HealthCare’s network will be cared for, according the health care provider’s statement.

“We are preparing for whatever comes our way, for our vulnerable residents and for all of our residents,” Walsh said.

The opening of the BCEC field hospital is part of a statewide effort to combat the outbreak of the viral respiratory infection, as public officials in Massachusetts forecast a surge in cases and fatalities between April 10 and April 20.

Modeling shows up to 172,000 residents in the commonwealth could contract the virus, Baker has said.

Dozens of testing sites have already been set up across the state, including one in Lowell. The center offers up to 1,000 free tests daily that each take roughly 15 minutes to process. Testing for the disease is a “key part” of finding out where resources are needed, the governor said at a press conference last week.

The Worcester DCU Center opened Thursday as the commonwealth’s first coronavirus treatment center. Area hospitals, public officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been working in recent weeks to convert the 50,000-square-foot facility into a medical station to allow for an additional 250 hospital beds. The station will be operated by UMass Memorial Health Care.

Baker has said other sites are also being considered as COVID-19 treatment centers, including Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne, Springfield’s MassMutual Center and other smaller locations, the governor said.

“As a city, we’re focused on protecting our fellow Bostonians, especially the most vulnerable among us,” Walsh said in a statement. “I thank all the partners involved in this work for their tireless efforts. This facility has the potential to help hundreds in need, and Boston will continue its work to stop the spread of COVID-19, and ensure all residents are safe, healthy, and get the care they need.”