Geisinger Lewistown Hospital Responds to COVID-19 Crisis with Screening Tents

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Geisinger hospitals are adding a precaution to keep their patients safe from COVID-19, while at the same time screening people for the virus.

Visitors and patients that come to Geisinger Lewistown Hospital will be screened at the screening tent and if needed go to the treatment tent.

Geisinger Lewistown Hospital opened two tents in front of their emergency department on Wednesday night at 7.

“We started to prepare for the tents within the last 24 to 48 hours,” Vicki Ematat, Administrative Team Coordinator for Geisinger Lewistown Emergency Department, said. “It has been a very rapid progression.”

Visitors or patients that are headed to the emergency room for any reason will be screened first at the “Screening Tent, before entering the hospital.

“We will be asking the screening questions for travel, and symptoms, we will be taking temperatures,” Ematat, said.

After the patient has been screened, they can be sent into the hospital, or if they are thought to have coronavirus they’ll be sent to the “Treatment Tent”.

“It is a tent that’s set up and we’re prepared to treat our patients there and discharge right from the triage tent,” Bonnie Bowsman, Operations Manager of the Emergency Department for Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, said.

Bonnie Bowsman with Geisinger, says the tents are not in response to COVID-19 cases in the area. She’s says currently the emergency department has not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19. The tents are for the hospital to be prepared if a coronavirus case does come and to keep patients in the hospital from getting the disease.

“It’s really an attempt to isolate, to do our part in isolating potential exposure,” Bowsman, said.

If you’re concerned you might have caught the virus Bowsman says to call your primary care provider or their 24/7 hotline at 570-284-3657.

There’s no time frame for how long the screening tents will be at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital.

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