The largely unused Mariana Resort & Spa in Marpi will become a designated quarantine site starting this Thursday.
Warren Villagomez, who heads the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, said in the news briefing last July 17 that, based on their action plan meeting last July 16, Mariana Resort & Spa in Marpi should be in full implementation by July 23.
Mariana Resort will be a quarantine site—not an alternate care site. The difference between the two, Villagomez said, is that an alternate care site is an actual medical care site that will treat patients, where they can bring in patients to provide care, while a quarantine site is where arriving passengers are quarantined upon arriving on Saipan.
The Pacific Islands Club Saipan used to be the government’s quarantine site. The Kanoa Resort in Susupe, on the other hand, is the alternate care site, or ACS.
When asked why Kanoa Resort was chosen as the designated ACS instead of Mariana Resort & Spa and if distance was a factor since Kanoa Resort is closer to the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, Esther Muña, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer, said that they did try Mariana Resort at the start but because it is mostly run by local residents, many were fearful of contracting the virus and did not want to run it.
“Some local people go to work at Mariana Resort, but their family don’t want to accept them back because they fear catching the virus,” said Villagomez. He added that they wouldn’t need a contract to run Mariana Resort, but local people were hesitant to run it, even if they were going to get paid.
At the same time, Mariana Resort needed a lot of repairs in order for it to run smoothly and safely. Villagomez said that, because arriving passengers were coming in, the resort was not ready and will take a while to fix up, so it was best to use Kanoa Resort.
Another factor that was considered in deciding that Kanoa Resort will be used as an ACS was that there’s already a space there that will be used for quarantine, and if they were to extend the hospital, there are rooms that they can use, he added.
To date, the CNMI has a total of 37 confirmed COVID-19 cases with two deaths.
COVID-19 in Guam
According to the Joint Information Center in Guam, four cases tested positive from the Department of Defense. Two reported recent travel from the continental U.S. and were identified in quarantine.
Additionally, the Guam Public Health Laboratory will be closed today, July 21, in observance of Liberation Day and there will be no tests run on Tuesday. GPHL will reopen on Wednesday, July 22.
To date, Guam has a total of 319 confirmed cases with five deaths, 235 released from isolation, and 79 active cases. Of those cases, 270 are classified as civilians and 49 are military service members.