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Boston Hospital Develops COVID-19 Testing Booths

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has developed a coronavirus testing booth, which was inspired by a design used in South Korea.

“This is one of our B-Protected COVID-19 Testing Booths,” stated Dr. Sherry Yu. “It’s made of a plastic polycarbonate that’s also shatterproof.”

The freestanding isolation booths will allow medical workers to examine patients and collect samples from behind a protective panel.

“Provider is able to step inside, bring no personal protective equipment, slip their arms through the portholes into large rubber gloves, obtain a swab for the patient and their sample,” explained Dr. Yu. “The patient’s able to leave as we bag the specimen, take a wipe and clean any surface that the patient may have come into contact with.”

Dr. Sherry Yu demonstrates a free-standing booth for COVID-19 testing, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The isolation booths were created by a collaboration of the hospital’s clinical leaders and engineering team, inspired by a South Korean research design. The booths separate clinicians from patients, protect front line providers, and reduce the need for personal protective equipment. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Dr. Sherry Yu demonstrates a free-standing booth for COVID-19 testing, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The units will help keep doctors and nurses safe, while also saving time and helping conserve scarce equipment.

“So a provider does not need to don and doff masks and gowns to the same extent that they would if the booth were not there,” added the doctor. “Secondly, it acts as an extensive barrier between the patient and provider, offering more protection.”

Dr. Sherry Yu worked with hospital engineers, nurses, fellow physicians and infection control experts to design and build the first unit. The hospital’s senior vice president of clinical services has said they’re planning on building more.

“We have three more, which will probably be implemented within the next three days,” said Kevin Giordano. “We’ll probably be building 10 total.”

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has received requests from other hospitals, who are also interested in using the booths.

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