201229-N-MT837-1007

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth’s (NMCP) Coronavirus (COVID-19) task force recently transitioned to working in a centralized, heated tent at NMCP’s COVID-19 Drive Thru Screening and Triage site. 

PORTSMOUTH, Va.

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth’s (NMCP) Coronavirus (COVID-19) task force recently transitioned to working in a centralized, heated tent at NMCP’s COVID-19 Drive Thru Screening and Triage site.

The mobile screening and triage site is designed to relieve the patient flow through the medical center’s Emergency Department, and to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 since it’s located in an open air environment.

The warm, fully-enclosed tent will assist Sailors perform at a higher level in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 as temperatures drop during the winter months. “One of the hardest things was fighting with the elements whether it was rain, cold or wind,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Michael Doxtator, the COVID-19 Drive Thru Screening and Triage site leading petty officer. “It gives us a place to stay warm and take breaks so our people aren’t getting exhausted in the elements.”

“The addition of the heated tent, has been very important to staff working in the drive thru,” said Lt. Cheyanne Huls, NMCP’s COVID-19 Test Site officer in charge. “The testing demand since March has only increased and continues to be an important part of the fight against COVID-19.”

With the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, the location of the tent will also improve the administrative side of testing with a centralized operations site.

“Previously our guys would be running 300 yards back and forth across the parking lot with a bunch of paperwork,” Doxtator said. “We were able to reduce that down to about 50 feet or so.”

The shift to the colder, winter weather will not stop the need for testing.

“During the winter months, the need for testing will continue,” added Huls. “This tent helps the staff stay warm and provide high quality care to the patients.”

Doxtator stated it’s a tremendous morale boost for the Sailors to be out of the elements. “Being able to stay warm and be comfortable has definitely kept our quality of work at a high standard,” said Doxtator.

As the U.S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally-acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area's 10 branch health and TRICARE Prime Clinics, provide care for the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman for future roles in healing and wellness.

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