New oxygen system installed at ACS site


The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to upgrade the Alternative Care Site at Kanoa Resort Saipan in preparation for the current and any future COVID-19 surges. The most recent upgrade was the installation of a brand-new oxygen system.

According to Patrick Guerrero, the governor’s authorized representative, a portable trailer-type oxygen machine was purchased last month for the ACS in order to provide an uninterrupted supply of oxygen to those who suffer severe symptoms of COVID-19.

“We just recently installed a new oxygen system. In the beginning, we were using oxygen tanks at the bedside but, as we got more information from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, it was discovered that COVID-19 patients on ventilators end up using high-flow oxygen. So we’ve upgraded and purchased a trailer-type oxygen machine that we’re plugging straight into the building,” he said.

Guerrero explained that typically, a typical oxygen tank could last for merely a few minutes to an hour on patients experiencing severe respiratory complications due to COVID-19. With the new system that could typically hold over 900 gallons, patients will be provided uninterrupted oxygen flow and it is also more convenient for health workers.

“This upgraded machine would allow doctors, should patients need ventilators down at the Alternative Care Site, to just plug those ventilators into oxygen supply [vents] on the walls,” he said.

This new upgrade, he said, is just a means to remain on top of future variants surges during these uncertain times.

“Even though we get less severe symptoms these days, it seems we never know what’s to come. It could be another variant or a surge again. We’re always trying to prepare for those,” he said.

Guerrero said it’s essential to remain prepared and that means continuing to maintain the CNMI’s ACS site.

“There was a time where we were questioned about why we were still keeping up the place because we didn’t have any cases. But look where we’re at now. So we need to be prepared by still maintaining that facility. So we continue to maintain the ACS, and we also continue to upgrade it,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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

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