Are U.S. Hospitals Ready?

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    Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C. is in full-on preparation mode. On a recent visit the staff had already marked out the parking lot — painting green rectangles to mark the places where tents are starting to be set up to screen arriving patients for COVID-19. In a medical building on the hospital grounds, the director for emergency management, Craig DeAtley, opens the door to a room crammed with supplies. It’s called the “ready room” he explains. It’s where they keep equipment to handle all kinds of crises — from Ebola to a HAZMAT incident to a mass casualty situation. Right now, the crisis is coronavirus, and so some storage carts have been moved out, to create one more location where arriving patients can be assessed. “Instead of everybody going into the emergency department, we would try and siphon off some of those patients,” DeAtley says. Washington Hospital center’s efforts highlight the question medical facilities across the U.S. now confront: Are they ready

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