Due to the rapid increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases on the island and six (6) COVID-19 patients currently being treated at the Auxiliary Care Facility (ACF), the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is currently on high alert and urges all non-vaccinated members of the public to do so.
In response to the increase in active cases, SMMC has scaled up controls at all points of entry. This means that only patients with an appointment will be allowed to enter with the exception of guardians of minors and medically indicated companions and visiting hours remain suspended.
All Outpatient appointments and elective care will proceed as planned, however should the number of active cases and hospitalizations continue to increase, non-essential and non-urgent care will be scaled down to create additional space and manpower for the care of COVID-19 patients.
The ACF, SMMC’s off-premises COVID-19 care facility, is being manned by staff of AMI Expeditionary Healthcare and SMMC and local call-up nursing staff are being asked to stand by. The Dutch Ministry of VWS and Kingdom Hospital partners are also being engaged to set up a contingency plan regarding patient care as it pertains to support.
In a public address, the Ministry of VSA recently announced that the vaccination program will come to an end on August 1st 2021. SMMC strongly urges all non-vaccinated members of the public to consider getting vaccinated in light of the impending third wave and the upcoming hurricane season, which is predicted to be an active one.
“As evidenced in Curacao and Aruba, vaccinations save lives and can significantly reduce the number of hospitalizations, and ultimately deaths, due to severe COVID-19. We are urging the public to stay vigilant and get vaccinated to help us safeguard our healthcare system. The more vaccinated persons in our community, the less hospitalizations we see, the less pressure on our valued healthcare workers, the more beds for vulnerable patients and the less fatalities. Please do your part in the curbing of this potential third wave”, said Dr. Felix Holiday, SMMC’s Medical Director and Chairman of the OMT.
SMMC strongly urges the public to adhere to social distancing guidelines, wear masks in public, practice hand hygiene and get vaccinated. Patients experiencing flu-like symptoms are also asked to kindly refrain from visiting the hospital for Outpatient appointments and call their House Doctor or CPS as it poses a potential threat to staff and other patients, some of whom may be at risk for contracting severe COVID-19.
Photo: Jr Manager Patient Care Christina Jacobs receiving a COVID-19 vaccine during SMMC’s staff vaccination drive in February 2021.