COVID-19 at Johns Hopkins


Jacob Lehman

COVID-19 testing tent at Johns Hopkins

Katie Lehman

This spring has seen the Coronavirus pandemic hit Maryland and change nearly everything about everyday life. Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore is one of the most prestigious institutions on the front line of this global pandemic. 


Johns Hopkins has established a tent outside their facility for testing. This testing process begins with a series of screening questions to see if one is qualified to be tested. Jacob Lehman, a nurse technician in the Emergency Department describes, “The test originally started out at two nasal swabs, a throat swab to rule out the flu and test for COVID. Since [then,] they cut that down to only one nasal swab. Over the past couple of weeks, they have refined the testing process to where it’s no longer necessary to do the other swabs.” After these steps have been completed, the patient is sent home and will later receive their results via phone call. 


All Johns Hopkins employees are provided with proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Lehman is issued a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), which is a reusable hood with a breathing tube and a HEPA filter, that he sanitizes in between patients. In addition to the PAPR, Lehman mentions, “They give us extra emergency PPE to carry around on our person in the form of a fanny pack, equipped with a mask and a little hand sanitizer.”


Two of the three sections in the Emergency Department are sealed off for patients who are under observation of serious Coronavirus symptoms. Lehman adds, “When they are being transported through the hallways, we transport with a group of three people over six feet in front, behind, and to the sides, letting people know that there’s someone coming through so that they don’t come in close proximity to someone in the hallway.”


Additionally, Lehman talks about other patients in the hospital, “All patients, regardless of your admission reason, are screened for COVID through a series of questions,” and that, “Every patient regardless or not they have corona gets a mask when they first come in.” All elective procedures are canceled. 


Every day, the hospital is adapting to the new amount of Corona patients, “I heard from one of the attending physicians that it’s expected to last until the end of June, [that] is when we will start reopening stuff and back to normal essentially. But who knows if that will actually happen. It’s speculation, but from professionals.”


We can all do our part to help these medical professionals. Stay home! Remember, you’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home.