A tent outside of the O'Bleness Emergency Department ready for any surge in patients showing symptoms of COVID-19
A tent ready for any surge in patients showing symptoms of COVID-19. [Claudia Cisneros | WOUB]

O’Bleness Puts Up Outside Tent to Prepare for Possible COVID-19 Patients

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — In an effort to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and to get ready for imminent patients in Athens, O’Bleness Emergency Department erected a screening tent outside the emergency department entrance.

The outside facility aims to reduce the possibility of transmission of the coronavirus and to protect other patients from exposure to it, as well as health care workers.

Keely Stockwell, spokesperson for O’Bleness Hospital, underscores this is not a walk-up site for COVID-19 screening so people should not just show up.

This outside tent facility works as a prevention station where any person who will regularly come to the Emergency Department because of an injury or any other reason will now undergo a quick screen inside the tent.

Upon the results of that screening, the patient will be directed either to the normal path inside the ED building or and alternate one for treatment.

Other restrictive and prevention measures taken by the Hospital due to COVID-19 include:

A temperature screening for every health care provider, patients or visitors who come into any OhioHealth care site, including O’Bleness Hospital.  If the person’s temperature is above 100 degrees, that person will not be allowed inside the building.

Additionally, O’Bleness is currently under a no-visitor policy since Friday March 20. Exceptions will be made for:

·        End-of-life patients

·        Patients with disabilities who need assistance

·        Patients under 18 – both parents will be allowed to visit their child

·        Maternity patients can have one support person for the duration of their stay

·        There will be no time limits on approved visitors


Both the temperature screening and the no-visitors policy apply to all OhioHealth care sites:

·       OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital

·       OhioHealth Grant Medical Center

·       OhioHealth Doctors Hospital

·       OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital

·       OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital

·       OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital

·       OhioHealth Marion General Hospital

·       OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital

·       OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital

·       OhioHealth Shelby Hospital

·       OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital

·       OhioHealth Berger Hospital