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Methodist Fremont Health to Prepare for Potential Case Surge with Emergency Tent


FREMONT – As part of the hospital’s continued preparation for the potential of a pandemic-related patient surge, Methodist Fremont Health will erect a temporary emergency preparedness tent on the southeastern area of the hospital parking lot. The white tent, which has previously only been used for emergency exercises, will be visible from 23rd Street.

According to Brett Richmond, president and CEO of Methodist Fremont Health, there is no immediate need for the tent, and decisions are still being made on how it would be used in case of an influx of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unlike the flood last spring, we’re in a position to be able to prepare and plan for possible scenarios,” said Richmond. “The early focus on flattening the curve and the slower acceleration of cases here in Nebraska has given us a valuable window of time to learn from what’s happening in major hotspots throughout the country.”

With a highly contagious virus like the Coronavirus, negative air pressure isolation rooms become an important agent in containing airborne contaminants within a patient’s room. Isolation rooms prevent airborne contaminants from drifting to other areas, contaminating patients, staff and sterile equipment.

Methodist Fremont Health currently has five acute care isolation rooms. However, plans are underway to convert additional rooms on the third floor of the hospital to negatively pressured rooms.  Some of this work may also be visible to the general public.

“We want everyone to know that we are working every day to prepare as best we can for what’s to come. The surge is coming, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we will get through it. I’ve seen what our staff – and what our community – is capable of,” added Richmond.

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