Mission Health to remove triage tents at hospitals

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Tents figured prominently in emergency planning protocols

  • Triage Tent at BRRH
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Mission Health announced Friday, April 24, a plan to remove the emergency triage tents placed at its hospitals earlier this month. The tents, which were installed as part of standard emergency planning protocols and for training exercises, were to create additional capacity as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved. The tent at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine has been in place since Friday, April 10. (Submitted)

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ASHEVILLE – Mission Health announced Friday, April 24, a plan to remove the emergency triage tents placed at its hospitals earlier this month. The tents, which were installed as part of standard emergency planning protocols and for training exercises, were to create additional capacity as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved.

The tent at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine has been in place since Friday, April 10.

“Fortunately, we have not yet seen widespread transmission of COVID-19 at this point in our community or a surge in our hospitals,” said Kathy Guyette, division chief nursing executive of the North Carolina Division of HCA Healthcare. “As a result, over the next few weeks, we will begin removing the tents from their current locations.”

Should the need arise in the future for the additional space provided by the tents, they can be reassembled in a matter of hours to meet demand.

“Having the tents up and available has added greatly to our preparedness efforts, and these have been a source of security for our staff and the community,” Guyette said.

Mission Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. William Hathaway said while Mission has not needed the tents, their removal in no way should be interpreted as an endorsement of relaxing social distancing measures.

“The stay home, stay safe guidance, and the community’s sacrifices related to it, have been hugely beneficial for our community and have meaningfully flattened the curve and quite honestly have saved lives,” Hathaway said. “While we look forward to a more normal future, now is not the time to change our behaviors.”

Mission continues to monitor the situation and work closely in partnership with local and state health departments, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.