Bristol Hospital sets up triage tent in preparation for possible surge in COVID-19 patients

Published on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:22


BRISTOL - Bristol Hospital continues to take steps toward preparing for a possible surge in COVID-19 patients - with the latest effort being a blow-up tent in front of the hospital where patients can be screened to determine if they need hospitalization.

“It’s really about preservation of the (Emergency Department) and the ED staff,” said David Koscuk, director of EMS and public safety at Bristol Hospital. “They can come into this area for screening.”

The blowup tent, which was donated for service by the State of Connecticut Medical Reserve Corps, sits in the parking lot of the hospital’s Center for Surgery and Endoscopy.

“They donated it in case of a surge,” said Chris Boyle, hospital spokesman.

The tent is well ventilated and will be used to triage patients and determine who may or may not need hospitalization. Those who do need to be admitted will be taken to an isolated area of the hospital, while those who don’t can receive treatment in the tent before being sent home.

Koscuk said the tent will be for individuals who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 that are more severe than those who are instructed to stay home and self quarantine.

“We want to be clear that this is not a mobile field hospital,” Boyle said.

The tent, in the event of a sudden surge of patients, would be used to keep COVID-19 cases out of the Emergency Department waiting area, isolating other patients from a possible exposure.

“No one’s ever going to complain that you over prepared,” Boyle said. “You can’t prepare too much.”

“You can’t wait until it happens,” Koscuk added. “The hope is we don’t have to use it.”

Thus far, Bristol Hospital has treated one patient who received a positive COVID-19 test result after being discharged. On Wednesday, the hospital had multiple patients who showed symptoms that resemble the coronavirus. They are being considered as a “person under investigation,” as they have not received test results yet, and are being kept in isolation.

Bristol Hospital on Wednesday tested another 84 patients at its outdoor testing station, bringing the total number of people tested at the hospital to 658. Thus far, roughly 25 to 30 of those tests have come back positive.

The positive results were mostly from out-of-town residents, as data released by the state Wednesday indicates two Bristol residents have tested positive; one Plymouth resident has tested positive; one Plainville resident has tested positive; and eight Southington residents have tested positive.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:22. Updated: Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:24.