Temporary hospitals for coronavirus patients open in Worcester, Boston

The state is bracing for a possible surge.

The first two convention centers converted into temporary clinics to take the pressure off hospital intensive-care units are coming online.

Worcester’s DCU Center opened its 250-bed facility to a limited number of patients Thursday. On Friday, the field hospital at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center opens, bringing online 1,000 beds to be split between homeless and non-critical COVID-19 patients.

A third facility is in the works at Joint Base Cape Cod. Combined, the facilities will increase the state’s hospital capacity by 1,500 to 2,000 hospital beds.

Health care workers are coming out of retirement and graduating early from medical programs and stepping up to help meet the staffing needs at the pop-up hospitals.