Century Hotel to be used as alternative care site for Covid-19 surveillance

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THE governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. have identified Century Hotel in Garapan as one of the facilities that will be used to isolate patients under investigation for Covid-19.

A police vehicle is parked outside Century Hotel on Wednesday evening. The Garapan hotel is one of the temporary isolation facilities identified by the governor’s Covid-19 task force.  Photo by Bryan Manabat

In an interview on Wednesday, CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said there will be patients — whether symptomatic or asymptomatic — who need to be isolated.

Press Secretary Kevin Bautista, for his part, said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and the task force are working with the private sector to identify additional alternate sites “as the need arises.”

He said Century Hotel was available for a particular surveillance case. “We want to make sure that we protect not only the individual who is under medical surveillance, but the rest of the community as well.”

Bautista said the government will pay the private establishments that will be used as alternate care sites. “It is subject for reimbursement and [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] is involved,” he added.

The Kagman Emergency Center Shelter Facility has been identified as an alternate care site, but it is not yet ready.

On Wednesday, CHCC said it had identified a surveillance case and submitted specimens for testing to the Guam Public Health Lab.

CHCC said a “surveillance case” is defined as a patient whom a clinician has judged should be tested, but does not meet the Covid-19 Person Under Investigation or PUI criteria as defined by Guam Public Health Lab, the CNMI’s current testing location.

“While the patient does not meet the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] case definition of a Covid-19 PUI, CHCC is taking a precautionary stance in order to protect the CNMI community,” CHCC said. “This does not mean that the CNMI has a confirmed case.”

CHCC said it will provide further updates on this situation as they become available and request that the public respect the privacy of the surveillance case and household members.

On Wednesday evening, the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and CHCC stated that a surveillance case sent to Guam last week for testing “turned out to be…negative….”

As of March 18, 2020, the CNMI remained without a confirmed case of Covid-19, the task force and CHCC added.

“We will continue to provide updates on our surveillance moving forward. Please continue to stay home as much as possible and avoid public gatherings. Continue practicing good hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.”

For more information about Covid-19, reach out to the CHCC Covid-19 Infoline at the following numbers: 285-1542/1672/1352/1854 from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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