Tents pitched outside of hospitals are becoming the new normal as the coronavirus outbreak spreads.
On Wednesday, this tent outside of the Brooklyn Hospital Center will begin pre-screening patients who believe they have contracted COVID-19.
If they meet certain criteria, they will then be directed to the emergency room and tested for the virus.
"If people are infected with the virus, it keeps them out here and those that maybe are tested and can be quarantined home, then they would be sent home," said Gary Terrinoni, President & CEO, The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s President.
The hope is the tent will relieve overcrowding in emergency rooms and minimize the risk of spread to medical professionals.
"The more we are able to arm the public to say you don't have to go into a hospital, you don't have to overtax the emergency room, the better we can deal with those who are in the late stages and need the hospital facility,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
These tents will become a feature of the cityscape in an effort to ease the growing strain on hospitals.
"All hospitals in New York State are required to have surge capacity plans in place. We will be providing guidance for hospitals for how to receive emergency approval for additional capacity, as well as alternative triage or treatment space such as the use of tents and trailers,” the state Health Department said.
Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island says it has received two tents.
One will be set up near the ER for the isolation and triage of patients.
The other might be placed in an off-site location to manage any overflow of patients or add coronavirus testing capacity.
This parking lot across from a CVS pharmacy in Whitestone, Queens will be a testing tent for COVID-19.
The company says it is working with the federal government to add drive through testing locations around the country.