Negotiations for the renewal of use of Kanoa Resort and Pacific Islands Club Saipan as isolation and quarantine facilities are ongoing this week, according to governor’s authorized representative Patrick Guerrero, as the contracts will expire by the end of the month.
In addition, Guerrero said the question of whether or not the rule on mandatory quarantine will stay the same or changed in the next few days will determine the need for quarantine sites.
PIC, with its 308 rooms, serves as a quarantine facility for all arriving passengers in the CNMI. Currently, there are almost 200 people quarantined at the site, according to COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren Villagomez.
“PIC changes weekly, but right now we’re looking at 179 at PIC. As the flight comes in, we build the numbers, and then in five days, with the test results being administered and coming out negative, releases are being made,” Villagomez said.
At his radio news briefing, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said that they are talking about the right approach to take with PIC, whether to extend the contract or not, so that the hotel can start preparations for accepting and receiving tourists, in time for the projected reopening of the CNMI on July 15.
The Kanoa Resort, on the other hand, the governor said, “would not be open to any tourists, because that is our Alternative Care Site. …Kanoa will continue to save lives here in the CNMI.”
The Mariana Resort & Spa remains as a backup quarantine site. “Since it’s government-owned, it’s much easier to be able to accommodate,” Villagomez said. “The main building, the resort site [has a capacity of] less than 100 because of some conditions. On the cottages site, that’s a family setting, that can accommodate a larger group of people. We’re ready. The resort is ready, along with the Department of Public Lands working with us, making sure that those needs are standing by.”
The Mariana Resort is not being used at the moment, though. According to Villagomez, “the governor’s direction is very mindful in the management of finance and in making sure that we don’t have duplication of sites.”
Villagomez noted that there are logistical issues related to its use as a quarantine facility, and with PIC in use right now, the task force does not want to burden resources, in terms of manpower, among others.