SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Officials at the University of Utah Hospital say it’s a matter of when — not if — that they get patients with COVID-19, which is why disaster hospital tents have been set up outside the entrance.

“It is truly that we want to be ready when the patients presented need us,” said Tracey Nixon, Chief Nursing Officer with University of Utah Health.

“We don’t want to have to do all of this work right when we’re met with a huge demand,” added Nixon.

The first tent outside is for what’s called “pre triage,” and then if patients show respiratory symptoms they are taken around back of the building, where two larger tents stand.

The tents, hospital officials say, are so that patients can be screened and treated without risking the spread of COVID-19 to University of Utah Health staff and patients.

“The public, and our community, and our nation, they should not — when they see this — feel fear or concerned,” said Phil Chaffee, Director of Emergency Management with University of Utah Health.

“They should feel peace, and they should feel content, that University of Utah Health is prepared,” added Chaffee.