Gov. Ralph DLG Torres took to Facebook yesterday via a live video feed to announce that the Commonwealth Health Care Corp. has broken ground on a project to build a temporary hospital that will be used to handle COVID-19-related cases, should an outbreak happen in the CNMI.
The field hospital, to be located at the upper level parking lot behind the Commonwealth Health Center, will be used as a preparedness and infection control measure in the event the CNMI experiences a wave of patients who need isolation hospital care due to the coronavirus.
The temporary hospital will have 50 beds and was turned over to the CNMI by the U.S, military and Federal Emergency Management Agency last April 4 as part of medical supplies and equipment, from the Strategic National Stockpile.
According to Torres, following the supplies that the CNMI received last Saturday, the CNMI received another shipment of supplies, including personal protective equipment and gowns for nurses, doctors, and first responders yesterday.
The CNMI’s resources are being flown in by FEMA in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“I want to thank our health care professionals, Esther Muna [CHCC chief executive officer], doctors and nurses, and all of our first responders,” said Torres.
Torres said more CHCC projects will be coming up this Saturday, April 11, and next week.
According to a statement on the CNMI Office of the Governor Facebook page, the CNMI is reported to be the first U.S territory to set up a field hospital.
As of 5pm, April 9, the CNMI has 45 specimens for COVID-19 testing. A total of 37 out of 48 have already been tested, leaving the CNMI with 11 positive COVID-19 cases, 27 negative, one specimen for retesting, six pending specimens, and two deaths.
COVID-19 in Guam
As of 9:30pm, April 8, the Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 34 more individuals for COVID-19. One individual has tested positive through DPHSS and 33 tested negative. The DPHSS overall count includes two cases that were clinically diagnosed.
According to a Guam Joint Information Center statement, two cases that have tested negative “have imaging findings consistent with COVID-19, displays typical COVID-19 symptoms, have epidemiological links to previously confirmed cases, and are being treated as COVID-19 cases.”
So far, a total of 123 cases have tested positive in Guam and two were clinically diagnosed, with 31 recoveries and four deaths. All 90 remaining cases are in isolation.