MAHONING TOWNSHIP, MONTOUR COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Three presumptive positive COVID-19 cases were announced in the Geisinger network, but they would not confirm locations for them.

Earlier Tuesday, treatment center tents went up at the Danville campus as Geisinger prepared for the worst before those cases were announced.

While Geisinger is still urging the public to call their 800-number before coming in with coronavirus concerns, tents have started going up at major hospital campuses.
They are an upcoming second line of defense against potential spread.

“Every one of our emergency departments is already set up to do screening on patients as soon as they come in,” said emergency medicine and EMS physician Dr. Douglas Kupas. “In the future, they are all going to have an outside screening station and we’re going to screen everybody that comes in.”

That’s to keep those who are immune-deficient in the hospital from danger. Those who show signs of sickness can get treatment immediately in the tents, which aren’t supposed to be for long-term care. They’re just an extra step for preparedness for the coronavirus.

“I would view it as an urgent care or emergency department visit where you are discharged,” said Kupas.

The goal being screening, isolated treatment and being sent home to self-quarantine all within a few hours.

What do residents think about the precautions?

“It makes you more aware of what’s going on,” said Blaine Eddy of Washingtonville. “It keeps you ready for it just in case anything does happen.”

“My son and I have immune diseases. We’re both anemic,” said Michelle Newman of Bloomsburg. “I feel like with people like that, it helps protect them.”

Even with these tents serving as a reminder that this is a serious pandemic, physicians are preaching caution, not fear.

“This is not something that should have everyone in a panic,” said Kupas. “This is something that many of the people who contract it, do well. But our goal is to limit the spread, especially to the vulnerable.”