HUDSON, Fla. (WFLA) – As COVID cases continue to rise, the number of patients visiting Tampa Bay emergency rooms is also going up.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point has added a temporary emergency room extension due to the recent COVID surge.

Outside of their emergency department, there is a large white tent that will serve as a temporary waiting room for the emergency department.

“The temporary extension will provide more available COVID-safe waiting area space while patients are triaged and seen by Bayonet Point’s Caregivers,” said Rick McNamara, the director of Communications and Community Engagement for Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is the second HCA Hospital to set up extra space outside of their emergency departments. Oak Hill Hospital in Hernando County also has a tent outside of their emergency department to help with the influx of patients.

“At this time, we have expanded our treatment capacity by adding care space outside of the ER for as long as necessary. Similarly, the COVID patients tend to be younger — both young adults as well as children, who are cared for in our pediatric emergency department — and unvaccinated. We are successfully managing the situation by expanding the number of units dedicated to caring for the current COVID surge,” said Katie Stacy, the director of Communications and Community Engagement for Oak Hill Hospital.