Large tent erected outside University Hospital in event of COVID-19 patient surge

SAN ANTONIO – University Health System on Friday erected a large tent near the Emergency Department entrance at University Hospital in the event of a surge in COVID-19 patients.

According to a news release, the 20-by-40-foot tent will provide extra space for patients, if needed.

UHS officials want to ensure the public that there plenty of beds in the hospital and that the tent is just part of a surge plan, should there be a large number of patients with respiratory symptoms.

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Currently, patients with COVID-19 symptoms who report to the emergency department are taken to an isolated space where they are evaluated for testing and possible treatment.

The tent will also allow UHS to separate patients with symptoms of the virus from other hospital patients at the emergency department entrance.

Those without COVID-19 symptoms would proceed into the emergency treatment area. Patients with symptoms would be evaluated in the tent area, moved to an isolated area for care, or tested and discharged if they are stable.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


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David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.