2 Dignity Health hospitals are using tents to triage patients

Officials say white patient tents put up outside two hospitals in the Valley may give an alarming impression of a COVID-19 surge or some other health crisis, but not because they are there.

Tents set up outside Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and Dignity’s Chandler Regional Medical Center are for routine emergency room care, the hospital leader says — testing less severe patients during the winter months when in Arizona have more residents; Respiratory viruses are more likely to circulate; And hospital volumes are likely to be higher than normal.

Dignity Health and other health systems at times used tents during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they have also been used in past years during the winter months, Carmel Malkovich, a spokeswoman for Dignity Health, wrote in an email.

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