~ Regular procedures to be scaled up again ~
On Tuesday October 13, 2020 SMMC’s Outbreak Management Team (OMT) announced that SMMC’s Auxiliary Care Facility (ACF), located at the basketball court at Raoul Illidge Sports Complex opposite SMMC, has recently been given the all clear and is now in full operation.
As a result of the clearance given, the ACF can now be used as a specialized care facility and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMMC has transferred all its regular COVID care to the ACF. The off-premises ACF features sixteen (16) beds of which six (6) are ICU and ten (10) are medium-care. Of the ten (10) medium-care beds, four (4) are in complete isolation and segregation and are intended for suspected COVID patients who are awaiting PCR results. In the event of a surge in COVID related hospitalizations, SMMC has an additional isolation capacity of eleven (11) beds within the hospital.
Having a dedicated off premises care facility such as the ACF means that SMMC can now slowly increase its regular (elective) procedures which were scaled down due to the second COVID surge.
On October 5th, the Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek and the Inspectorate of Health Dr. Earl Best were given a tour of the ACF by OMT Chairman Dr. Felix Holiday, OMT members and were introduced to the AMI team. Subsequently on October 9, 2020, SMMC’s Hygiene and Infection Control (HIC) Department gave the final clearance for the transfer of COVID care to the ACF. The AMI team will continue to assist SMMC in the operation of the ACF under SMMC’s existing protocols and leading guidelines.
In the event that a storm or hurricane poses a direct threat to St. Maarten, COVID patients will be transferred to SMMC. Non-COVID patients may be evacuated to an approved, nearby facility or airlifted to a hospital within the Dutch Kingdom, if needed.
The project to make SMMC’s COVID facilities more storm resilient was made possible in part by funds from the St. Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust fund, funded by the Netherlands and managed by The World Bank. SMMC extends its gratitude to its employees, the Government of St. Maarten, the Dutch Ministry of VWS, The World Bank and the AMI team for all of their contributions towards the health and wellbeing of the people of St. Maarten.
SMMC urges persons experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea to CALL their House Doctor or contact the CPS hotline at 914 (or 542-1122, 542-1222). Persons experiencing symptoms such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, the inability to wake or stay awake and bluish lips or face should contact the Ambulance Department by calling 912 and await further instructions.