Skilled Nursing Unit being converted to COVID-19 isolation center capable of holding 60 patients

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The Skilled Nursing Unit is being cleared out and converted into a COVID-19 isolation center on Guam.

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This is the island’s first publicly identified isolation center in the coronavirus response efforts. The governor’s office confirmed the facility should be ready by the weekend.

Patients at the SNU, which is part of the Guam Memorial Hospital family of healthcare units, were being moved out Thursday as part of coronavirus preparations on island. 

The facility in Barrigada Heights had 28 patients, according to Lillian Perez Posadas, the GMH administrator. 

Some of those patients are being transferred to GMH; some opted to go home instead. Posadas said they’re also working closely with St. Dominic’s Senior Care Home to relocate some SNU patients. 

Posadas said the facility has 60 beds so it can accommodate that number of patients, if needed, during Guam’s COVID-19 efforts. The facility will be used once all the current patients are relocated.

“That’s the whole goal, that’s the game plan, is to contain and minimize exposure. So, no, we don’t want to put any COVID patient there while we still have other patients who do not have the condition.”

Cindy Hanson, the spokesperson for Guam Regional Medical City, told PNC News that while the situation is fluid, SNU patients are not currently being transferred to GRMC. 

Hanson said GMH is the designated hospital for any suspected cases of COVID-19 currently and if anyone exhibiting symptoms arrives at GRMC, they will be stabilized and then transferred to Guam Memorial Hospital.

This is in an effort to centralize the response for any potential infectious patients, according to Hanson.

There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus on Guam. 

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