Shown is the new medical tent installed on the grounds of St. Francis Medical Center that will provide initial assessments of patients with potential COVID-19 symptoms. Courtesy photo
Shown is the new medical tent installed on the grounds of St. Francis Medical Center that will provide initial assessments of patients with potential COVID-19 symptoms. Courtesy photo
St. Francis Medical Center, Trenton, has established a new process for any person arriving at its emergency department who is experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms or respiratory illness. 

As of April 13, a new medical tent will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the left side of the emergency department on Bert Ave.

Upon arrival, all upper respiratory illness and possible COVID-19 patients should follow signs to come to the medical tent first. Patients will be met by a clinician, who will perform a triage, assessing the patient’s condition and level of acuity. All other patients will be directed to the hospital’s Emergency Department for evaluation.

“To assess potential respiratory illness or COVID-19 patients before they enter the hospital reinforces our infection control prevention and patient and colleague safety measures,” said Daniel P. Moen, St. Francis’ president and chief executive officer. “If potential COVID-19 patients need further medical work-up, they will be brought to a separate area of the [emergency department] specifically for respiratory illness and COVID-19 cases.”

Mildly symptomatic patients will be treated and if no further evaluation is needed, discharged from the medical tent. Those needing further medical evaluation will be provided with a face mask and escorted by clinical staff to the emergency department through its ambulance bay entrance.

Patients who need to be hospitalized for more advanced treatment after assessment in the emergency department will be cohorted on an isolated unit in the medical center.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Persons experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. Persons who do not have a provider, can call the St. Francis provider referral line at 1-855-599-SFMC (7362).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 patients should get medical attention immediately for warning signs that include: trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to arouse; bluish lips or face. Persons who believe they have a medical emergency should call 911 and notify the operator of the possibility of COVID-19 and, if possible, should put on a facemask before medical help arrives.

For information on COVID-19, visit the St. Francis Medical Center website at www.stfrancismedical.org.  For further information about COVID-19, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.