EDISON, NJ – The field medical station coming to New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison is just about ready to accept its first patients.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy toured the field hospital on Wednesday, along with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan, and numerous officials from the State Police and National Guard.

According to pool coverage of the tour from The Star-Ledger and NJ.com Statehouse Bureau report Brent Johnson, State Police commander Marc Pellegrino said if all goes well, the 500-bed facility “is likely to begin taking patients on Saturday.”

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The governor said the field hospitals are critical as the state battles two lines: trying to “break the back” of the virus’ spread and “build up” hospital capacity. 

“These are huge, quantum steps for us in terms of capacity,” Murphy said. “So I thank everybody associated with this. It means more than you know.”

Edison’s facility is the second, and largest, of three field hospitals built in the state. Secaucus and the under-construction Atlantic City facility each have 250 beds. 15 nurse stations staffed by U.S. Department of Defense personnel will monitor the 500 beds.

Facility staff is already in New Jersey, according to Pellegrino, with orientation and training expected to begin on Thursday.

Booker said “this is the best of local, state, and federal officials working together seamlessly.”

“We’ve got a really tough two or three weeks ahead of us, at a minimum,” Murphy said. “And this is gonna make a huge difference.”

Editor's Note: The Star-Ledger and NJ.com Statehouse Bureau reporter Brent Johnson contributed to this article as a pool reporter for the press. Photos were provided to the press pool by NorthJersey.com.