In light of the first official confirmed COVID-19 case on St. Maarten, who is currently in home isolation, the SMMC Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has decided to increase the mitigating efforts in possible exposure to the virus and to keep SMMC’s care capacity at the highest level in case of confirmed COVID-19 case(s) needing admittance to SMMC. As such the following decisions have been made:
Scaling back non-essential care
The SMMC Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has decided to scale down non-essential care such as elective surgeries and most Outpatient services. However, SMMC will continue to provide essential and critical care services such as (but not limited to):
- Emergency Room (ER) services
- Dialysis services
- All medical specialties for Oncology related cases
- Obstetrical care
The scaling down of non-essential care is in line with SMMC’s Dutch Caribbean counterparts who are doing the same at their respective hospitals.
To minimize group numbers, all SMMC departments are to scale down in staff numbers with staff rotating between SMMC and working remotely for the coming 2 weeks.
Acute referral patients and Saba / Statia patients
Due to the border closure of the countries where SMMC routinely sends acute patients needing emergency care who cannot be treated at SMMC, an agreement has been made with the Curacao Medical Center (CMC), for the referral of patients needing acute emergency care. Furthermore, Dialysis patients from Saba and Statia can continue to be treated at SMMC as well as patients needing emergency care from that cannot be treated in Saba and Statia.
Hand hygiene and social distancing
In the meantime, the public is urged to continue to practice proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette and as much as possible exercise social distancing. If you notice anyone exhibiting any of the signs of COVID-19 which include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, please refer to the established protocols and guidelines.
In the interest of public health and in an effort to be proactive in minimizing the transmission of the virus, SMMC is asking visitors of patients currently admitted to SMMC to refrain from visiting the hospital if they are experiencing any symptoms which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath and to adhere to the decreased visiting hours.
SMMC also urges the public to call the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) hotline 914 (or 542-1122, 542-1222), if they have any questions or require additional information regarding COVID-19. SMMC’s Outbreak Management Team will share information in subsequent press releases.