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Medical tent added to expand bed capacity at GMH as number of COVID-19 patients increases

32% of Guam's pandemic fatalities dead on arrival

TENT: Guam National Guard and Department of Public Works personnel install a Blu-Med tent, commonly known as a temporary hospital, outside the Guam Memorial Hospital Emergency Room on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Photo courtesy of GMH 

A Blu-Med tent, commonly known as a temporary hospital, was set up Wednesday outside the Guam Memorial Hospital's emergency room to expand its bed capacity and be able to accommodate additional COVID-19 patients. 

Mai Habib, spokesperson for GMH, said the Blu-Med tent has a capacity of eight to 10 beds.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, no patient was there as of yet but it should be open for emergency department patient overflow, she said.

Guam's COVID-19 hospitalized patients jumped to 45, 22 of whom were at GMH, according to the Joint Information Center's Tuesday night report. As of Wednesday afternoon, hospitalization at GMH was at 20, Habib said.

A Blu-Med tent is commonly used for disaster response and has the capabilities similar to an expedient field hospital, including negative pressure to maintain a sanitary working environment ideal for treating COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero thanked the Guam National Guard "for helping set up the Blu-Med tent for additional COVID patient treatment." The Guard and the Department of Public Works installed the tent, GMH said.

"As COVID-19 continues to surge in our community, so too are the hospitalizations. We're creating more capacity to treat the sickest in our community and ensuring all COVID-19 positive individuals have a clean, medically equipped area ready for treatment," GMH said.

Capt. Mark Scott, spokesperson for the Guam National Guard, on Wednesday said there's one Blu-Med tent at GMH for now, and the tent has a capacity for up to 10 beds.

There are also two at the Guam Regional Medical City, which were installed in November last year, Scott said. As of the JIC report of Tuesday night, there were 21 COVID-19 hospitalized patients at GRMC.

Around October last year, the government set up Blu-Med tents outside the GMH Emergency Room. At the time, the reported COVID-19 hospitalization reached a record 92 and later reached more than 100.

The government of Guam has a total of 10 Blu-Med tents ready to deploy as needed, JIC earlier stated.

The tents were purchased with federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, funding and arrived earlier this week in anticipation of an increase in hospitalizations.

This story will be updated.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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