CAY HILL–In light of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in St. Maarten, who is currently in home isolation, the St. Maarten Medical Center’s (SMMC) Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has announced its decision to increase mitigating efforts with regard to possible virus exposure and to keep SMMC’s care capacity at the highest level in the event of confirmed COVID-19 case(s) needing admittance.
“The OMT has decided to scale down non-essential care such as, elective surgeries and most Outpatient services,” said SMMC in a press release on Wednesday.
SMMC said it 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 and 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,” said the release.
To minimise group numbers, all SMMC departments will scale down in staff numbers with staff rotating between SMMC and working remotely for the coming two weeks.
“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 Curaçao Medical Center (CMC), for the referral of patients needing acute emergency care,” said the release.
Dialysis patients as well as patients needing emergency care from Saba and St. Eustatius can continue to be treated at SMMC.
“In the meantime, the public is urged to continue to practise 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,” said the release.
SMMC said in the interest of public health and in an effort to be proactive in minimising the transmission of the virus, it 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 and 542-1222), if they have any questions or require additional information regarding COVID-19.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/smmc-scales-down-non-essential-care