Advocate Aurora taking down overflow triage tents

Health system says it's 'encouraged to see the curve is leveling'

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.
Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Last updated on April 27th, 2020 at 11:04 am

Advocate Aurora Health said it will close the overflow triage tents set up outside its emergency departments, based on projected COVID-19 patient volumes. 

The health system in late March announced it would erect tents outside all of its hospitals in anticipation of a surge in patients with COVID-19 symptoms. The tents are designed to keep suspected COVID-19 patients separated from the main hospital while being screened, and to preserve personal protective equipment for hospital workers. 

Advocate Aurora announced Wednesday the tents are no longer needed. 

We’re encouraged to see the curve is leveling, yet remain vigilant in our efforts to continue to stem the spread while adjusting our response tactics based on the evolving needs of the patients and communities we serve,” the health system said. “As such, we will be closing many of our ED surge tents based on current and projected surge volume.” 

According to Wisconsin Hospital Association data, statewide, there are 349 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized, 146 of whom are in the ICU. The state currently has 458 open ICU beds, according to WHA data.

The state has generally seen a slowing of new cases over the past two weeks, though Wednesday brought a higher-than-usual 225 new cases. 

A decline in new COVID-19 cases is one of the key benchmarks the state will need to meet before it can begin a phased reopening of the economy, under Gov. Tony Evers’ “Badger Bounce Back” plan. The plan requires a 14-day decline in new cases before the state could resume normal operations.

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