Triage tents

O’Bleness set up triage tents outside the Emergency Department of the hospital. Here, the tents are deflated as they are not in use yet.

Visitors, patients and staff headed to OhioHealth O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens will face new screening measures.

Anyone going into an OhioHealth care site will be required to have their temperature taken as part of the COVID-19 screening process beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24. Anyone with a temperature over 100 degrees will not be allowed to enter the building. Screen stations will be in place at all entrances of OhioHealth hospitals and medical offices attached to hospital. This may mean access point changes to these facilities.

The screening stations were deployed at 5 p.m. on Monday, and the screenings began Tuesday morning. All OhioHealth ambulatory locations, physicians group locations, freestanding emergency departments, outpatient oncology offices and the Kobacker House will be taking temperatures at the door.

In addition, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital has erected a triage tent outside the emergency department’s entrance. This was to help reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus.

“The goal is to keep those who have flu-like symptoms separate from those who do not,” a press release from O’Bleness stated.

The tent is not a site for COVID-19 testing, especially walk-up testing. The press release called the move “proactive” and a collaboration with the Athens County Emergency Management Agency and Athens County Emergency Medical Services “to be prepared in the event the process of outside triage becomes necessary.”

The tent will work like this: any patients who first comes to the emergency department (ER) for treatment of anything will first go into the triage tent where they will be screened. Depending on the result, the patient will either go to the normal intake desk or onto an alternate pathway into the ER for treatment.

“This will help limit the exposure to other members of the community and care team,” the press release said. “In this unprecedented time, our main focus is the health and safety of our patients and associates. This triage process will help us accomplish that.”

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