Triage and COVID-19 screening sites set up at Portsmouth Naval Hospital


PORTMSOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Medics set up triage and screening sites Friday at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

The sites are set up outside of the emergency department. Anyone heading to the ER must first pass a drive-through screener to answer basic questions about their symptoms and contact with any possible COVID-19 cases. All visits unrelated to COVID-19 can enter the building. Possible coronavirus cases will go to another triage site for treatment. 

The triage tents will operate from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Anyone visiting outside of those hours will be screened upon entering the emergency department. 

Congresswoman Elaine Luria went to see the triage site when it opened Friday morning. 

“Like any Navy or military thing, it’s very organized,” said Luria. “It really seems like they’ve thought through it all. They just kicked it off today and I’m sure they will continue to refine it and make it work smoothly.”

According to Luria, three people at Portsmouth Naval Hospital did test positive for COVID-19. She said those cases were already included in the total count from the Virginia Department of Health. 

At the moment, Luria says testing kits are keeping up with demand at Portsmouth but the facility has put in an order for more tests.  

So far the congresswoman hasn’t received any additional requests from Portsmouth or the Hampton VA Hospital, but she says the government is closely monitoring the military’s medical system. 

Medical professionals in the reserves are volunteering to be activated, according to Luria. Those reservists will be needed when the hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, which is staffed with personnel from Portsmouth, deploys for New York City. 

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