By Jim Smith

WEYMOUTH (CBS) – All across the country first responders and medical professionals are working to treat coronavirus patients while minimizing their own risk of infection. At hospitals like South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, there are now outdoor tents setup to isolate the risk.

Dr. Jason Tracy gave us a tour of the tent, setup to test and treat patients suspected of having COVID-19. It will keep potential cases outside of hospital walls.

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“We’re already experiencing a high volume of patients with influenza like illnesses, and therefore we need to do this for separation of patients, both for patient safety, but also at this point it’s very significant for staff safety,” Tracy said.

Patients can get screened, but their contact with others is limited. It also frees up other hospital space for even more urgent situations.

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South Shore hospital has a tent setup outside for coronavirus testing and treatment.

“We’re preserving our main emergency department for more seriously ill patients,” Tracy explained. “Our hope is that these will be patients that will be seen, evaluated, and ultimately discharged from this area.”

South Shore Hospital is not alone. They are becoming a common sight at many facilities as concern deepens in the medical community about having enough space to treat and diagnose patients.

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“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” Tracy said. “I’ve never seen a system response like this before. This is serious.”