EXCLUSIVE: Here's what possible coronavirus isolation room looks like in San Francisco Bay Area

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- In a Contra Costa County, local hospitals like John Muir Medical Center are gearing up for an influx of possible novel coronavirus patients, who may need to be kept completely separate from others in airborne isolation rooms.

One significant feature is the sealed anteroom, a buffer between the hospital hallway where caregivers don personal protective gear.

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"First they're going to wash their hands," said Michelle Lopes, Senior Vice-President and Chief Nursing Executive for John Muir. "They're going to put on the gloves there are on the wall, the gloves, put on a gown, a face shield."

There's also a special ventilation system to keep air from circulating to the rest of the hospital.

"This room is what we call negative pressure, so what negative pressure means, which means the air is drawn from the outside of the hallway and then the air that is circulating in this room is then exhausted outside the building," explained Lopes.

There are about a dozen of these airborne isolation rooms at John Muir's Walnut Creek Hospital. They've been here all along, but they're making sure they're open and available for any suspected cases of COVID-19.

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"We need to be prepared for a patient surge," said Dr. Russell Rodriguez, Medical Director of John Muir's emergency department. "We have developed a variety of different kind of protocols of how to triage patients into the appropriate level of care, appropriate level of isolation that they need."

John Muir won't say if they've had confirmed COVID-19 patients, but like other Bay Area hospitals, they're ready.

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