BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The 250-bed field hospital at the Baltimore Convention Center opened Monday.

The field hospital, which will be used to treat recovering coronavirus patients who no longer need to be hospitalized, was set up by the Maryland National Guard and has been ready for weeks but is opening as the state health officials are preparing for a surge of hospitalizations.

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Some of the patients had been on ventilators and in intensive care before beginning to recover.

“We have created… a very robust facility. There are individual bays for people, but they’re not rooms. It’s not your conventional hospital,” said Dr. Jim Ficke of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

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Johns Hopkins and UMMS jointly operate the field hospital.

“The field hospital is designed to take the pressure off of other medical centers so they can be prepared to take care of the most critically ill patients in our community,” said Dr. Chuck Callahan of UMMS.

As of Sunday, Maryland currently had more than 18,500 cases of COVID-19 in the state and more than 827 have died from the virus.

Although Gov. Larry Hogan recently said he hoped to reopen Maryland by early May, he said the number of hospitalizations and deaths must begin to trend down before he can do that.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.