EASTON — After sitting unused for more than a year, a COVID-19 surge tent outside of the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton was taken down in mid-August due to a lack of patients.

The COVID surge tent at the UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester in Cambridge is also currently in the process of being decommissioned as well.

Despite several case spikes, the Easton hospital never reached a volume of COVID-19 patients to necessitate using the larger of the two tents, said Trena Williamson, a spokesperson with Shore Regional Health.

Williamson also cited limited parking at the Easton hospital as a reason for the tents’ removal.

Early on in the pandemic, temporary triage tents were set up to accommodate a possible surge in cases at all four Shore Regional Health emergency centers in April 2020. The two additional medical tents for potential longer-term use were set up adjacent to the Easton hospital’s emergency department in late April and May.

The smaller tent —  which could hold up to 10 patients, was intended for emergency triage care — remains behind the Easton hospital. The larger, semi-permanent tent was equipped with resources needed to care for critically ill patients and had over three times the capacity of the smaller tent. Both tents are state-owned and were designed with special airflow capabilities to limit the spread of the airborne virus.

As of Sept. 3, there are 58 active COVID cases in Talbot County. Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, nearly 3,000 confirmed cases have been reported in the county.

Over 62 percent of Talbot residents are fully vaccinated — the third-highest county percentage in Maryland. Over 46 percent of residents between ages 12 and 17 are full vaccinated, and more than half have received at least one dose.

The level of community transmission is high in the county, so all public schools and many businesses are following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for universal mask wearing.

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