Rhode Island Hospital plans to open coronavirus screening tent at ER entrance

RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL plans to put a third tent up on its campus to screen emergency department arrivals for respiratory symptoms. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL
RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL plans to put a third tent up on its campus to screen emergency department arrivals for respiratory symptoms. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Hospital plans to open a tent outside its emergency room entrance to screen patients for respiratory symptoms, Lifespan Corp., the hospital’s parent company, announced on Thursday.

The tent is in place, but it’s not yet clear when it will officially open.

Several Lifespan doctors and administrators plan to give updates on the health system’s preparations for a potential influx of patients infected with COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon during a press briefing outside of Rhode Island Hospital.

The tent will be the third outside the hospital, where workers from the R.I. Department of Health are testing people with suspected cases of COVID-19 as well as health care workers with symptoms.

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Another tent stands at the ambulance entrance to screen patients before they are taken into the emergency department, said Dr. John Murphy, Lifespan’s executive vice president of for physician affairs and the interim president of Rhode Island Hospital.

Lifespan has plans to put up a screening tent at The Miriam Hospital in the coming days, and another tent at Newport Hospital that is designed for Department of Health testing will be put into use once more testing equipment arrives, Murphy said.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Graham@PBN.com.

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