The Mariana Resort and Spa in Marpi will be the primary quarantine site in the CNMI, according to Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren Villagomez.
Speaking at the Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster Related Funding oversight hearing last July 28, Villagomez said they don’t want to promote “cross-infection” with people who have tested positive and people who have tested negative, as well as the person under investigation, which is why Mariana Resort will be the primary quarantine site.
“Mariana Resort will be our primary as soon as it’s all settled and whatever spills over from Marianas Resort will be [at] Kanoa [Resort], because we don’t want to promote cross-infection,” said Villagomez. He added that the purpose of having two separate places is to separate positive COVID-19 cases from the rest.
Rep. Tina Sablan (D-Saipan) pointed out that Mariana Resort was deemed not suitable for quarantine a couple of months ago due to many issues, so what has changed now and why has government and federal funding been used to overhaul Marianas Resort when Kanoa Resort isn’t full?
Patrick Guerrero, the governor’s authorized representative, replied, “I guess we learned along the way, in the last couple of months, maybe we can pull through and actually run the resort.”
He said that in order to run Mariana Resort, they are looking at executing a management contract to run some operations. “We’re still actually looking at executing a management contract to run some operations but, as far as putting the facility…up and running, I guess we…don’t need much more than what we put in the first couple of months to get it ready,” said Guerrero. The resort has additional air-conditioning units and a fire sprinkler that passed fire inspection.
“I don’t have numbers to share with you, but I’ve done the math over and over in my head, and we would be saving significant cost, if we run that facility,” he added. He sees a 75% savings if the government rents another place for $100 per room per night.
Guerrero added there wasn’t much construction to do, just simple repairs such as fixing a few doors, plumbing, and air-conditioning units.
As for medical equipment, Guerrero says that in the beginning they were expecting over 100 ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile, but only got 25 portable ventilators that came in suitcases
Based on the models of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Johns Hopkins University that the number of projected cases that the CNMI was supposed to have, Guerrero said the CNMI needed over 200 ventilators.