Mission Health plans to remove triage tents from hospital parking lots


FILE – In this Wednesday, March 25, 2020 file photo, medical personnel are silhouetted against the back of a tent before the start of coronavirus testing in the parking lot outside of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. As cases skyrocket in the U.S. and Europe, it’s becoming more clear that how healthy you were before the pandemic began plays a key role in how you fare regardless of how old you are. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – According to a release, Mission Health will be removing the emergency triage tents that were placed in their hospital parking lots last month.

Officials said the tents were installed as part of standard emergency planning protocols, training exercises and to create additional bed space as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved.

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

If a need for additional space arises within the next few weeks, the tents can be reassembled in a matter of hours. 

“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.

William Hathaway MD, chief medical officer at Mission Health cautions that the decision to remove the tents does not mean people should relax with practicing social distancing guidelines.

“While we have not needed the tents to date, this in no way should be interpreted as an endorsement of relaxing our social distancing measures,” Hathaway said.

Officials at Mission Health said they will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with local and state health departments, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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