CHCC chief: ‘We’re ready’

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THERE has not been any discussion about what will happen to the alternate care site at Kanoa Resort once the pandemic subsides, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said on Wednesday.

The main focus now is that the facility is open and ready should there be a need for it, she added.

“As we’re watching the surge happen elsewhere, we want to make sure that we’re ready,” she said.

She noted that in some jurisdictions, beds have been placed outside hospitals because of the “overflow.”

“We don’t want to do that. At the end of the day, we want to be able and to be ready for it. Of course, we don’t want to use it,” she said.

“We’ve been doing an excellent job, but we can never be too careful. We want to make sure that this facility is ready for us.”

Meanwhile, the science of this virus is changing rapidly, she said.

“We want to be able to have the tools. This facility will be managed by people of CHCC. They’re going to make sure that it meets the standards, making sure that there are adequate supplies,” she said.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna delivers her remarks during the opening ceremony for the alternate care site at Kanoa Resort on Wednesday. Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

Whatever needs to be implemented, it’s all at the facility, ready for use, Muna said.

“It’s all here. The facility itself is ready for those people to be there to do their job, and in case there is a surge, it is basically ready,” she added.

The administration handed over the operations of the facility to CHCC on Wednesday.

“Our intent is to make sure that we protect our staff, too. If there is a facility specifically for Covid-19 patients that will be the ideal place to separate them from the non-Covid-19 patients,” she said.

The chief executive officer said the facility will be utilized if there is an acute care hospital need, or if a patient’s underlying conditions have worsened.

The alternate care site has been registered under CHCC as a Medicare facility.

“When Medicare comes, they’re going to look at this facility. If there's a patient here, they’re going to look at our policies, making sure that our policies have been amended to include this facility, to make sure that what we do at the main facility at CHCC is going to be done here as well, so it shouldn’t be any different,” she said.

The idea is to make sure that the staff and the patients experience the same care at the facility as they would have at CHCC.

“That’s basically the reason why it took a while. There was a lot of back and forth to make sure that this facility is ready,” she said.

“Everybody got involved to make sure that these things are set. If there is a trigger to use it, our staff is just basically detailed here and they’re able to work. That’s the idea.”

Muna also emphasized that the key ingredient to the fight against the coronavirus is testing and monitoring.

She thanked the administration, the federal partners, the CHCC board, support staff, doctors, nurses, frontline workers, and the community for their ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

As of Thursday, there had been 92 Covid-19 cases in the CNMI since March. Of these cases, 66 were newly arrived travelers, 10 were identified through community screening and 16 were known contacts. There had been two deaths: one in March and the second in April.

On Guam, there had been a total of 4,549 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 78 deaths, 1,835 cases in active isolation and 2,636 not in active isolation. 

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