COVID-19 tent at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- A tent is going up outside Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center at 235 West 6th Street.
It sits north of the William N. Pennington Emergency Department and south of I-80.

St. Mary's Health Network installing a COVID-19 tent to prepare for possible influx of patients.

"St. Mary's has one tent set up that we are preparing to have on standby," said Director of Marketing and Communications at Saint Mary's Health Network, Amber Norris.

As of March 10, 2020 at noon, no patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at this hospital location and there is no need for the tent the Hospital is putting up now.
"We are just thinking two steps ahead, just making sure we're not doing any last minute scrambling for anything," said Norris.

The tent started going up Wednesday on March 18, 2020.

Supports have been put up to make different rooms inside the tent.

Construction crews are installing drywall to give the tent a building-like feel.

Norris says the tent would be used if COVID-19 patients overwhelm the facilities inside the hospital. It would also be used to ensure proper isolation from other patients staying inside the Hospital's main facilities.

St. Mary's Hospital administrators and doctors say their main focus now is to do everything in their power to create a future where their tent is not needed.
They say this begins with people. "We would like patients who are either asymptomatic or mild symptomatic to really please isolate at home. We definitely don't want to overrun our ER's right now and we really want to save those beds and those spaces for those who are really having severe symptoms," Norris said.

The tent will be staffed, supplied, and ready for use by Saturday March 21, 2020. 

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020