CHCC: More quarantine facilities being identified

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The Commonwealth Health Care Corp. is working on identifying more sites in the CNMI that could be used to quarantine individuals in case the CNMI is faced with a coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak.

In an interview with CHCC spokesperson Zoe Travis, she said that CHCC is currently in the process of identifying other facilities that would be used to house infected individuals in case the Commonwealth Health Center’s quarantine capacity is exceeded. CHCC runs CHC.

“Our exact quarantine capacity for COVID-19 depends a lot on what other inpatients we have in the facility who may also need to be quarantined. I can say that, in addition to the hospital itself, we also can call in additional resources and are identifying facilities that could be used if our capacity here is exceeded,” she said.

As of yesterday, Travis could not release the exact number of individuals that CHCC can quarantine in case of an outbreak.

The primary and secondary sites/facilities to quarantine COVID-19 positive individuals on Saipan in case of an outbreak are the CHC mobile/inflatable tents on Navy Hill and the Juvenile Detention Facility in Kagman.

As of March 2, there is still no confirmed presence of COVID-19 on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

In a separate statement from the CNMI government, it said that Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres and Lt. Governor Arnold I. Palacios continue to lead government efforts in screening passengers from affected countries and preventing the spread of the COVID-19 in the CNMI.

“The CNMI remains coronavirus-free, but we are strengthening our ongoing efforts to screen passengers from affected countries, most especially South Korea,” said Torres.

Torres said the administration has been working closely with the White House in implementing additional measures to safeguard the Commonwealth.

“Last Friday, we issued Executive Order 2020-02, which continues our emergency protective measures for response, quarantine, and containment of the disease. Public health is our top priority, and we will continue to keep our residents safe,” he said.

Torres joined governors from around the United States in a conference call early yesterday morning with Vice President Mike Pence and White House officials to discuss national efforts to monitor and contain the spread of coronavirus in the U.S.

President Trump has appointed Pence to lead the President’s Coronavirus Task Force.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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