Hospitals are setting up 'COVID cabanas' to prep for influx of potential coronavirus patients
Officials from hospital support services talk outside newly erected negative pressure screening tents that are set up outside the emergency room entrance at University of Utah hospital as they prepare for coronavirus testing, in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., March 9, 2020.
- Some hospitals are setting up tents - or "COVID Cabanas" - to help with the anticipated influx of new coronavirus cases, Reuters reported.
- Some hospitals have set up tents outside to screen people for the highly infectious respiratory disease.
- One expert estimated that as many as 96 million Americans could contract the new coronavirus, and as many as 4.8 million people will need to be hospitalized.
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Several hospitals are setting up "COVID Cabanas," or tents outside, to deal with the influx of new coronavirus cases, Reuters reported.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has already begun seeing patients in tents set up in their parking garage as of Thursday, according to Reuters.
Scripps Health, which has several clinics in San Diego County, began setting up tests outside their location for screenings. Chief Executive Chris Van Gorder told Reuters he expects "By Friday we will have what we are euphemistically calling COVID cabanas at two of our clinics."
While Scripps has 1,400 beds including 99 negative pressure isolation rooms for infections disease, if the outbreak grows they may not be able to meet the demand, Reuters reported.
"Contingency plans could include caring for patients in anesthesia recovery units or other areas within the hospital," Jeff Smith, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center chief operating officer told Reuters.
Business Insider previously reported on a leaked presentation from the American Hospital Association that showed one expert estimated as much as 96 million COVID-19 cases and 4.8 million hospitalizations.
Hospitals across the country are preparing on how to deal with the outbreak, but an expert told Reuters that the US is still short on ICU beds for those who are likely to need hospitalization.
The US currently has 95,000 ICU beds, according to Reuters. Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of Columbia University's national center for disaster preparedness, told Reuters that if a "full-blown outbreak" were to occur, the US would be short 75,000 to 100,000 ICU beds.
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