Medical tent

A look at a medical tent as shown in a photo provided by OhioHealth.

Shelby Hospital, Mansfield Hospital and OhioHealth Emergency Care– Ontario plan to place tents outside their emergency departments to prepare for a significant increase in emergency patients due to COVID-19, OhioHealth announced.

"The goal of the tents is to quickly determine patients who have flu-like symptoms from those who do not," OhioHealth said in a news release Tuesday. "These tents are NOT test sites for COVID-19 screening."

Shelby and Ontario's medical tents are expected to be up within a week following Mansfield, where the tent placement occurred Monday, OhioHealth said in an email Tuesday.

At times, OhioHealth’s emergency departments experience surges, due to multi-vehicle or bus accidents or other reasons, the news release stated. 

"The tents at all three locations will be used if a significant surge in emergency patients occurs due to COVID-19 and outside triage is needed," OhioHealth said in a written statement. "The tents will remain up until the risk of patient surge is no longer a concern."

When patients come to the emergency department for treatment of an injury or other reason, they first will enter the triage tent where they will be quickly screened, OhioHealth said.

Depending on the result, the patient will either be directed to the normal intake desk inside the emergency department or into a secondary tent. This will help limit the exposure to other members of the community and care team, the release said.

"In this unprecedented time, OhioHealth’s main focus continues to be health and safety of its patients, associates and medical staff," the release also stated. "OhioHealth will continue to make preparations and take precautions to keep the community safe."

Shelby and Ontario's medical tents are expected to be up within a week following Mansfield, where the tent placement occurred Monday, OhioHealth said in an email Tuesday.

Photo provided by OhioHealth 

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