Six hospitals in Montgomery County are installing tents where medical workers will treat patients who have symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
Tents sprung up in the parking lot of Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring on Monday.
There were 15 cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Monday, and health officials expect that number to grow.
"We wanted to let our community know that they should not be alarmed when they start to see tents popping up at our area hospitals,” Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said in a release. “This is actually a sign of preparedness."
Gayles said the tents are to ensure that hospitals separate people seeking traditional ER care from those who may be infected with the virus. The tents also help hospitals increase capacity.
Other hospitals installing the tents include: Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Shady Grove Medical Center in Gaithersburg, Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, White Oak Medical Center and MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney.
Health officials said the hospitals will begin using the tents on Thursday.