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Branson CoxHealth opens emergency tent to test for COVID-19


BRANSON, Mo. — Cox is opening emergency tents outside of their hospitals that will test patients for COVID-19.

“Cox Health is setting up tents in all of our emergency room’s across the system, so that patients that come to the ER with respiratory symptoms can be taken to a separate area to be treated and to be tested,” Director of Nursing at Cox Branson, Matt Farmer said.

They will also be dealing with other emergency patients, specifically with a reparatory illness. This way these patients are separated from others who need to go to the ER but do not want to catch a respiratory disease like the coronavirus.

A separate team of Cox workers are designated to the tent only, so other ER nurses won’t be exposed to the same patients and disease at the same time.

“This allows us to have two separate areas so a patient that comes in with a heart attack or a stroke, we want to bring them into the ER,” Farmer said. “But as we have growing numbers of people with respiratory illness in the light of COVID-19. We want to have that separate area so that we can decrease the exposure to the staff and other patients that are sick.”

So you will be able to walk in through the front of the tent, then check in with registration without making any contact. Then you’ll be sent to one of these remote locations for patients. After you’re done being tested and ready to go, you’ll then walk out through the other end of the tent when you’re ready.

Nurses say it is providing the same amount of care a patient would receive in the ER.

“You should walk out of here with really the same level of care that you would get in the main ER,” Farmer said. “This is just a different environment that’s safer for our other staff and patients.”

Some nurses say you might even have better care in the medical tent. Shannon Neumann, Assistant Nurse Manager at Urgent Care, says her team outside is strong

“You have to be in constant communication, and we all have very distinct outlined roles,” Neumann said. “So we know what we’re supposed to do at any given time. So the teamwork is stronger out here also.”

Neumann and all of the nurses at Cox say they are fighting for everyone in their community.

“We just appreciate the community supporting us,” Neumann said. “It means the world to us as nurses. And just know that we’re out here fighting for you.”

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