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Contracts modified for quarantine, isolation sites

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THE governor’s authorized representative, or GAR, Patrick Guerrero, on Wednesday said the alternate care site or ACS at Kanoa Resort is anticipated to be fully operational approximately three weeks from now.

In his remarks during a press briefing on KKMP radio, Guerrero said construction has been completed, but there is still some minor work being done — including the exterior parking lot in the back for ambulance entry and exit —before the team will be comfortable in opening the facility for operations.

“[The ACS] is ready for the medical equipment to be installed. They have not been installed, but every piece of equipment we need is on-island with the last flight coming in from Los Angeles last week. Now it’s just a matter of calibrating and getting them hooked up,” he said.

“We’re not rushing because we don’t see a surge in the near sight, so we’re taking it at a very comfortable pace and making sure that everything is in sequence before we say it’s ready to go.”

 Front liners stationed at the Pacific Islands Club on June 6 follow decontamination protocols in a “kill box” for personnel who come into contact with inbound passengers. Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

He added, “There are a couple of little things that still need to be put in place. One of them includes the electronic health record system. We’re still waiting for delivery of computers and software equipment specific to the needs of that system for the hospital to, I guess, effectively run the alternate care site with what they need to [input] patient information and other things for medical care and treatment.”

Guerrero said the deadline to renew the Kanoa Resort contract was yesterday, Wednesday.

“I’ve been working closely with the secretary of Finance, the attorney general, and Homeland Security to put a new contract together. It’s because we have the alternate care site located there. We are looking at two separate contracts: one for the rental of the space that we’re going to be using as an alternate care site, and the other one for the use of the rooms for non-congregate shelter for continuing quarantine and isolation,” he said.

“We don’t have a contract yet, so I can’t speak to what it is, but we are following some [Federal Emergency Management Agency] guidelines on what’s reimbursable, and we’re going to make every effort to ensure that it’s in line with that policy.

When asked about utilizing the former Mariana Resort as a quarantine or isolation facility, Guerrero said  there is currently no need for more rooms than what Kanoa Resort currently provides.

“We did just terminate [the Pacific Islands Club contract] as of yesterday. With the new directives of the government and the change to self-quarantine, we no longer need the PIC rooms. We still have rooms at Kanoa that can be used for quarantine and isolation. But, [the former Mariana Resort] could be ready if we needed more rooms. At this time, we don’t need it.”

He said some contracts were made to prepare the former Mariana Resort to potentially serve as another facility in the CNMI Covid-19 response.

“Most of it has been covered by the Office of Grants Management through some other federal grants. Nothing yet has been submitted to my office for a request for reimbursement from FEMA, so I can’t speak on that part, but to my knowledge, most of it has been funded by other federal grants that do allow for [reimbursement] during this Covid response for some associated costs,” Guerrero said.

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