Mission Health says it will be taking down triage tents it placed outside of its hospitals, while also beginning to re-schedule procedures that had to be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, the health system says those tents were installed as standard protocols for emergencies, and were to have helped with increased capacity should its hospitals get overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Because there has been no surge in patients, those tents will now be taken down over the coming weeks, though Mission says they can be put back up in a matter of hours should the need arise.
“Fortunately, we have not yet seen widespread transmission of COVID-19 at this point in our community or a surge in our hospitals,” said Kathy Guyette, Division Chief Nursing Executive of the North Carolina Division of HCA Healthcare in a statement. “As a result, over the next few weeks we will begin removing the tents from their current locations.”
“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," added Dr. William Hathaway, Mission Health's chief medical officer.
On Monday, Mission Health announced it would start to return to normal service, beginning with rescheduling procedures that were delayed or canceled. That process will take place in the next week to ten days. Along with that, the health system says it will work with its physicians to see what each will need to resume normal operations to include social distancing and screening of patients.
“Consistent with Governor Cooper and DHHS Secretary Cohen’s guidance yesterday, we are carefully planning and undertaking a phased approach to begin care that focuses on the most critical and timely patients who have been waiting while we prioritized our services for COVID-19 patients," Hathway said in a statement.