Skilled Nursing Unit facility ready to receive COVID overflow from GMH

Skilled Nursing Facility (PNC file photo)

As GMH closes in on its physical capacity for COVID-patients, the Skilled Nursing Unit in Barrigada is finally ready to open back up.

The SNU was the island’s designated isolation facility during the first wave of COVID but some air conditioning issues made it unusable up until now.

The 54-bed space will serve as overflow capacity for COVID patients at GMH.

GMH Administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas says a temporary chiller was installed to cool the facility and it’s now stocked up with equipment.

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“We’re going to occupy A-Wing first and that has 20 beds in that area. So the plan is to try and get the patients who are here [at GMH], who are very stable in terms of their condition and who are not needing supplemental oxygen over there. The challenge that we continue to be faced with is staffing. So, what we’re looking at is the staff that are currently manning the Care 3 unit [at GMH] where these COVID medical patients are. At stable, we’d have them up at the SIF to start receiving these patients, as we move them up there. So, that’s the plan and we’re going to try to get that started today,” Perez-Posadas said.

At her news conference today, the Governor said GovGuam has also secured a hotel to serve as an isolation facility for those asymptomatic patients, or those who might not have the right conditions at home to isolate away from family members.

The Bayview Hotel has been contracted to serve this purpose.