First look at coronavirus field hospital at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

A field hospital for coronavirus patients is being set up inside the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

The BCEC, located in the city's Seaport District, is normally busy this month, hosting a number of conventions. However, those events were canceled weeks ago.

Now, with city and state officials expecting a major surge in COVID-19 cases to arrive soon, the venue will be home to a 1,000-bed hospital.

Construction crews were busy raising temporary walls on Sunday, and have about four days to assemble the field medical center.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the BCEC will be home to nonacute COVID-19 patients, giving them more time to recuperate while providing front-line hospitals more room for other patients.

The state's first COVID-19 field hospital was set up at the DCU Center in Worcester and Gov. Charlie Baker announced plans for another at Joint Base Cape Cod.

Baker said there have been discussions about establishing a field medical center in western Massachusetts and another in the Merrimack Valley.

These COVID-19 field hospitals will be staffed by many volunteer health care workers, most of whom are coming out of retirement. A lot of new nurses will also be serving in the field medical facilities.

"We have lots and lots of people who are very mission-driven, who are responding to a call in this particular circumstance and situation, and want to be there for their neighbors, friends and colleagues," Baker said. "We're going to do all we can to make sure they have the gear they need."

Anyone who would like to offer their services to the BCEC COVID-19 hospital, dial 311.