NAPA, Calif. – May 8, 2020 –Nearly two months after they were
set up, Queen of the Valley Medical Center is able to take down triage
tents set up behind its Emergency Department (ED). On March 18, the hospital
set up the tents as a place to triage and screen patients exhibiting respiratory
or febrile symptoms.
“It’s a positive sign. We are able to take down the tents because
we haven’t seen the volume of patients we had anticipated might
come to the hospital two months ago,” said Darrin Mooneyham, director
of critical care and emergency services, citing the tent was screening
less than two patients in 24 hours.
To ensure safety, the hospital’s ED will continue to minimize any
potential exposure to caregivers and other patients by screening and separating/isolating
anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. In addition to patients
in the ED, anyone entering the hospital—including caregivers, visitors
and vendors—is asked a series of screening questions and has their
temperature taken with an external thermometer.
Additional safety precautions—such as a visitor restriction policy,
social distancing and universal masking— remain in effect. These
measures of safety will continue to be the focus as the hospital thoughtfully
restores and expands surgical services and procedures. The community should
feel confident in seeking care.
“Over the past two months, we have seen a steady decrease in the
number of cases being hospitalized due to COVID-19. We are thankful to
our community members who have helped to bend the curve and we are cautiously
optimistic that this trend will continue,” said Larry Coomes, chief
executive at Queen of the Valley.
Hospital leaders cautioned that, while this is a meaningful moment, we
are not out of the woods yet and that it’s crucial to continue following
public health orders.
In the event there is a significant increase in the number of patients,
the hospital is prepared to reassemble the outdoor triage tents. They
will be carefully stored and can be set up in less than an hour if needed.
“Based on the numbers we’re seeing, we feel it’s time
to take down the tents, knowing that we can put them back up in a heartbeat
if needed,” said Coomes