Houston Healthcare sets up medical tents for COVID-19 patients

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WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Houston Healthcare is preparing for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients.

Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday the state is expected to see a major rise in confirmed cases over the next few weeks, and to flatten the curve, a shelter-in-place order goes into effect Friday and will last until April 13.

Houston Healthcare has installed five medical tents outside the emergency room entrance.

Melinda Hartley, Houston Healthcare’s Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, says patients will check-in at one of the tents. If a patient is experiencing chest pain or other severe symptoms, she says they will go immediately inside. For other issues, i.e. cuts on a foot, a patient will be directed to the appropriate tent to be treated.

“This is in effort to flatten the curve, but first we have to be prepared,” Hartley said.

She adds hospital employees are essential workers so they will continue to come to work during the shelter-in-place order, but staff are practicing safe distancing and other preventative measures.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.