SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose is prepping “surge tents” to handle a possible influx of coronavirus cases. The tan-colored tents are currently erected on the southern border of the hospital’s property, facing Samaritan Drive, directly adjacent to the emergency room’s paramedic entrance and the public sidewalk. The footprint of the two identical structures measures 15 feet by 30 feet and stands about 10 feet tall in the center. Each one is large enough to handle up to six patients at a time while still allowing the minimum “six-foot exclusion zone,” the distance health officials say is sufficient to prevent human-to-human transmission of the disease.
“To keep them safe and make sure they are not co-mingling together,” said Mark Brown, Chief Nursing Officer for Good Samaritan Hospital. The surge tents, which are owned by the hospital, are typically brought out during flu season. But Brown pushed to erect the tents early in light of the steady increase of COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area. “We’re taking an overabundance of caution to do the right thing, and we feel for our patient population and for our community, this is the best way to serve them,” said Brown.
Tents have become a key part of the strategy in restricting the movement of the virus into hospitals around the world. This week alone, tents were seen outside hospitals in Italy, Central Washington, Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, and Roseville near Sacramento. South Korea has even implemented drive-through testing centers that collect nasal swabs and record temperatures of more than 300 patients per day, as they sit in their vehicles. –CBS
The World Health Organization urged governments around the world to pull out “all the stops” in the fight against the increasingly pervasive and deadly outbreak of the new coronavirus. “This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday. “Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades,” he said. “Now is the time to act on those plans.” The U.N. health agency called on all nations to “push this virus back.” More than 95,000 people in 86 countries have been infected with the virus and more than 3,200 people have died. There have been 12 deaths in the United States — 11 in Washington state and one in California, and 20 states have reported cases of the virus.
California declared a state of emergency after the first death was confirmed there Wednesday. A cruise ship that the victim had traveled on was being held offshore in San Francisco, while all passengers are tested for the virus. –CBS