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Understanding How Pop-Up Tents Can Aid in Combating COVID-19

Understanding How Pop-Up Tents Can Aid in Combating COVID-19

TentCraft /// 03/27/2020

The 411 on How to Use Medical Tents During the COVID-19 Outbreak



Equally serving medical professionals as well as the concerned general public, we expect to start seeing temporary medical center tents all over the country as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves.

A quick-to-deploy pop-up tfent is proving an effective method to safely triage and screen the growing number of patients that are expected to max out healthcare capacity.



What is a pop-up medical tent?


Pop-up medical tents are mobile extensions of larger hospitals and healthcare facilities. They operate in conjunction with healthcare providers as a separate and safe location for triage and screening for COVID-19.

A pop-up medical tent is designed specifically for ease of setup, so it is as familiar and easy to use as a tent you might use tailgating or for community events. The accordion-style frame and canopy are one piece that can be deployed in under two minutes. The next step is to enclose your tent with the included wall panels. There are several configurations available (including single-stall, multi-room infirmaries, and drive-thru versions) so refer to your unique set-up for clarity.



Who does a medical tent serve?


This is two-fold as there are clear benefits for the healthcare industry as well as the general public.

Health Care


Let’s start with the folks in the medical industry. Rapid-deploy medical pop-up tents are an effective way to quickly service patients without bringing them inside the boundaries of hospitals and urgent care buildings, creating necessary separation. This minimizes the risk of unnecessary contact, protecting admitted patients with potentially compromised immune systems already within the buildings.

Furthermore, it can also help swiftly move incoming patients through a system specifically designed to address the coronavirus as a singular service. This creates a streamlined approach.

General Public


Now let’s talk about how this serves the general public. Right now, as officials are advising and mandating for social distancing, citizens are actively seeking safe ways to adhere while receiving necessary medical care. Pop-up medical tents serve as separate extensions of health care organizations that people already trust, while clearly creating a track for triage and screening that maintains a safe distance for all.

Temporary medical tents that are designed to specifically serve the coronavirus pandemic also free up emergency room and care capacity for patients entering a hospital for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. This is especially important for parents admitting into maternity wards and several life-threatening health concerns that will still require emergency services in addition to the pandemic.

How can portable testing sites benefit healthcare officials and patients?


  • Creates a separate and safe area to triage patients for screening
  • Provides valuable distance between patients with symptoms and patients going to the hospital for other reasons
  • Frees up space and capacity in emergency rooms
  • Expands service capacity for conditions unrelated to COVID-19 (you know, the regular stuff that keeps hospitals and emergency rooms busy.)


How to know which option is the right medical tents for your needs


There are several configurations available and customization to fit a specific usage is available, so communicate your unique needs to your sales representative. They are available to walk you through all options to help discern the customizations that will best serve your community.

There are three primary configurations:

Single Stall: this style is a fully enclosed pop-up tent with a roll-up door for entry and egress. This provides a single room to meet with patients privately.

Multi-Room Infirmary: this style is a larger kit, sometimes comprised of more than one modular pop-up tent frame, with a series of private rooms to provide one-on-one care for several patients at once.

Drive-Thru: with wide roll-up doors, this allows patients to be screened without leaving their vehicles.



How do drive-thru mobile testing centers work?


Each center takes its own approach to qualifying patient candidates. The most common systems we’ve seen are requiring a physician referral or a phone screening and pre-scheduled appointment, but there are a few free-for-alls thrown in the mix in which anyone can join the queue to be tested.

Drive-thru tents for coronavirus screening

Beyond qualification, the process is quite similar across the board. Cars form a queue, providing identification through a closed window. When prompted, they enter the drive-thru portion of the screening tent, where they will receive a nasal swab procedure from a qualified healthcare professional who is fully protected with appropriate uniform and gear. Roll-up the window and off they go. Anywhere from 24 hrs to 4 days later, they will receive the results of their swab.

How COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Works

What is the benefit of drive-thru screening?


Drive-thru screenings provide a unique opportunity to safely serve the public while adhering to social-distancing recommendations. Patients can stay within the confines of their vehicle, only briefly coming into contact with a health professional, who will be appropriately protected to minimize risk.

Aside from the obvious convenience, there is a practical benefit as well. Drive-thru screening services minimize the risk of actually infected patients coming into contact with those who are only potentially infected.

What size cars can fit in a drive-thru screening tent?


The standard head clearance of a medical pop-up tent from TentCraft is 80” while the average SUV is roughly 70”. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but in general, most vehicles are going to comfortably fit within the standard dimensions. Custom dimensions are available, built to order.



How does a pop-up infirmary tent work?


Simply put, pop-up infirmaries are temporary structures with several private rooms. They are designed to create and increase the capacity to meet with patients privately in a one-on-one space. For example, TentCraft offers a 26’x26’ total enclosure that includes 8 individual bays. The smaller rooms are ideal for multi-use applications including screening, treatment, waiting rooms and quarantining.

Medical pop-up tent infirmary

How many patients can be seen in a pop-up infirmary tent?


This number is only limited by the number of private rooms built into the design of the structure. TentCraft has standardized an 8-room option, but customization is available according to unique needs.


Frequently Asked Questions


What happens inside pop-up medical tents?

Pop-up medical tents have a wide variety of uses and can be customized to meet specific needs. We’re seeing them used predominantly for drive-thru coronavirus testing, in which case healthcare professionals are swabbing, organizing and using the space as a temporary medical office, with vehicles passing through the tent. Infirmaries are another priority, in which tents are being used to test, quarantine and temporarily treat patients.

How are medical tents cleaned?

We are advising our partners to use bleach to disinfect any white materials.

How can my facility access medical tents and mobile testing sites?

You can find a variety of medical tent configurations here

Coronavirus testing locations

Health officials and The Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend contacting your health provider or your state or local health department. You can find more information about CDC recommendations by clicking here

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We’re more than just custom pop up tents — TentCraft is a premium fabricator of all things experiential marketing and outdoor advertising. If it combines metal, fabric and print our team of skilled craftsmen can transform any napkin sketch or wild idea into a fully realized project. Serving the biggest brands on the planet as well as your local High School, if you want the perfect blend of quality and American craftsmanship, we’ve got you covered.