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St. Joseph staff mobilizes to replace screening tents after storm

Thanks to the quick actions of its staff, Penn State Health St. Joseph ensured the safety of staff and patients when storms and high winds moved through its parking lot and drive-through COVID-19 screening tents on April 9.

When the storms were first identified on radar around noon, St. Joseph crews from Maintenance, Security and the Hospital Emergency Response Team demobilized the screening operations and moved everyone inside. Less than an hour later, the high winds came through and knocked down four tents, including one that weighed approximately 500 pounds and was secured with four, 50-gallon drums of water.

While waiting for the weather to clear so they could clean up the broken tents, staff moved into high gear to come up with an alternative structure so the screening and testing operations could resume the next day.

“Everyone came together quickly to get this done,” says Adam Frymoyer, emergency management coordinator. “Working through the St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation, we got four sheds that are more permanent structures and can withstand weather and wind.”

The crews worked until about 7:30 p.m. that evening to ensure the sheds were secured and operational so testing could resume on time, at 8 a.m., April 10.

Eight St. Joseph Medical Center employees stand in a parking lot and point to the left. Behind them is a shed. Yellow hazard tape is in the foreground.

St. Joseph crews quickly put a shed into place.

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