Kanoa Resort at full capacity


This file photo from Aug. 3, 2020, shows the Kanoa Resort in Susupe. (KRIZEL TUAZON)

With a capacity of 201 rooms, 125 in the main and 76 on the tower, Kanoa Resort’s occupancy has reached its limit, leaving the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force no choice but to open the doors of the former Mariana Resort & Spa starting this Thursday for incoming passengers.

According to Warren Villagomez, head of the task force, they want to make sure that returning residents are in a “comfortable and safe” environment where they won’t be mixed with people who have tested positive for the virus.

Additionally, the capacity for the Mariana Resort’s reef hotel—the pink building that is separated from the cottages—is at 98, while the cottages is at 86.

“The cottages can accommodate more people, so it’s more like a family setting. It’s going to help us out in our accommodation,” said Villagomez.

Right now, all arriving passengers in the CNMI are being quarantined at the Kanoa Resort, after the contract with Pacific Islands Club Saipan ended. That has led to the filling up of the Kanoa Resort.

Also, Villagomez stressed that the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the task force will be sticking with the quarantine protocol due to many incidents that have happened and been reported to him and CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña. “The thing about this virus is not going away soon. …We›re seeing that a lot of people [in] home quarantine, then next thing you know, we›re seeing pictures of them [outside] that’s being shared with us,” said Muna.

She says she receives phone calls every day, especially after flights, that people are breaking these protocols that were put in place. “People have to understand that quarantine means you stay home, or we can enforce it by putting you in a government facility.”

Muna stated that the quarantine measures have been working but because there’s a low number of community transmission, many people don’t think they should be guarding themselves. “We should be in a guarded mode all the time. …If you can detect it on arrival, you can detect it after the fifth day testing. So to say that somebody is completely virus-free can be deceiving to other people,” said Muna.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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