At the end of May, Adventist Health Lodi Memorial staff dismantled the large white triage tent in its emergency department parking lot, citing a stabilization in COVID-19 cases.

Two weeks ago, the hospital erected the tent once again, just in case the number of cases began to surge, spokeswoman Lauren Nelson said.

On July 1, the tent was reopened, she said.

“We’re definitely seeing more cases as we see reports coming out of the county,” Nelson said. “We always thought we might need it again, but now that we’re seeing higher numbers, we want to do as much as we can within our community to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The day the tent reopened to screen patients, San Joaquin County Public Health Services reported a total 3,856 positive cases of COVID-19, and 52 deaths from the virus. PHS reported 133 patients in county hospitals at that time.

By Thursday, July 9, total cases had jumped to 6,065, and total deaths to 67. There were 202 people in county hospitals on July 9.

As of July 8, the county was reporting 407 cases in the 95240 ZIP code, and 153 in the 95242 ZIP code, which include Lodi.

According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, there are currently 39 patients at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial being treated for the virus, with seven in intensive care units.

During Tuesday’s San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors meeting, county Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park reported that hospitals and testing sites are conducting an average of 239.3 tests a day with a 12.3% positive rate. Hospitalizations are at 14.1%, she said.

Those who think they might have been exposed to COVID-19, or who are showing symptoms, will come to the emergency department entrance at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial to be assessed by a nurse, Nelson said.

If someone reports the common symptoms — cough, fever or shortness of breath — they will be ushered into the tent to be visited by a doctor, who will either provide medication or make a determination to admit them into the hospital.

Those with severe symptoms will be admitted to the hospital and placed in an isolated room for treatment.

“We’d love to take this tent down as soon as possible, but the county has been hit hard with COVID-19,” Nelson said. “It’s taken a lot of strain on everybody. But this tent has been a great tool, and it’s been very helpful with treating and screening people in the community.”

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