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Special tents set up outside emergency departments

Special tents set up outside emergency departments

To triage incoming patients for COVID-19 symptoms 

Photo from newsroom.spectrumhealth.org

GREENVILLE and LAKEVIEW, Mich., March 25, 2020—Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals are taking additional steps to care for the community and keep patients and team members safe by opening COVID-19 triage tents, as the need arises, as an extension of its emergency departments. 

In accordance with the CDC, Spectrum Health recommends those with mild COVID-19 symptoms stay home and self-quarantine.

Tents will be erected this week adjacent to hospital emergency entrances and will not be for “drive through” use.

When the tent is in use, patients coming to the emergency departments will be met by a team member who will help them navigate to either the main ED entrance or through the COVID-19 tent entrance. Patients entering the COVID-19 tent will be asked to wear a mask and sanitize hands, which will provide the safest means for staff to offer service while avoiding unnecessary exposure. 

“The tent ensures continued patient access to emergency services for those with non-COVID-19 conditions while also ensuring those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are cared for appropriately,” said Carol Dwyer, chief nursing officer of both hospitals. “We’ve been preparing for this for months with a rapid uptick in those preparations in the last few weeks.” 

Patients will be evaluated by an emergency department provider. Those with mild symptoms, no breathing difficulties and stable vital signs will be directed home and provided education on COVID-19 care. People with mild symptoms should stay home and self-quarantine, watching for worsening symptoms. If you are concerned about your symptoms, call for a free phone screening at 616-391-2380.   

People coming to the emergency department triage tent will be charged for the visit. Most insurers have indicated they will waive the charges for screening so future reimbursement is expected.

For more information about COVID-19, including information on symptoms and prevention, visit www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19.

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