ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ/AP) — Maryland hospitals have started setting up triage tents to prepare for a potential increase in patients due to coronavirus.

John Lazarou, a spokesman for the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, wrote in an email that tents have been deployed, though the medical center is still in preparation stages.

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CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

The University of Maryland Medical System’s COVID-19 Incident Command leadership has suggested that hospitals consider setting up their triage tents as an exercise, so staff could refresh their skills around the tent operation in case of a surge in patient volume, Michael Schwartzberg, a spokesman for the system, wrote in an email.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced three new confirmed Maryland cases Wednesday evening. That brings the total of confirmed cases in Maryland to 12.

Sinai Hospital in Baltimore has set up tents outside its emergency room in the event it sees a large influx of coronavirus patients.

Leading state lawmakers have announced some precautionary steps the Maryland General Assembly is taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the final weeks of its 90-day session. They include canceling receptions that are not directly related to legislative business and postponing tours in the State House, starting Friday.

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“We are going to continue to operate as normal,” Senate President Bill Ferguson told the Senate before session Thursday. “We are going to do the peoples’ business, but we are going to take social distancing steps, things that are smart behavioral practices to ensure that we can limit the risk associated with the spread of this virus.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serve illness, including pneumonia.

Starting Friday, patients at Upper Chesapeake Health can be tested for the virus without even getting out of their vehicles. The tests will be done in the emergency room parking lot on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Patients need to have been referred by a doctor for the test.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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