Tent hospital will be moved to Naval Base Guam

RELOCATING: Military personnel can be seen as work continues on a 150-bed temporary hospital being erected at the old Royal Palms area of South Finegayan in Dededo on April 26. The tents will be moved to the Naval Base Guam in the next few weeks. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

The tents that were set up on military property at South Finegayan in Dededo as a field hospital will be moved in the next few weeks to sturdy structures on the Navy base in Santa Rita as the typhoon season approaches, the Navy said in a press release.

The area that hosts the tents was to be operated as a 150-bed Expeditionary Medical Facility in the event of an overflow of COVID-19 patients from Naval Hospital Guam. The field facility was set up after the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt pulled into port on Guam on March 27 with several COVID-19-positive sailors.

During the time the warship was moored on Guam, more than 1,000 sailors tested positive for COVID-19. Many of the sailors were placed in isolation on the base while several were hospitalized at Naval Hospital Guam. More than 2,000 who weren't COVID-19-positive were allowed quarantine in Guam hotels.

On Thursday, with enough sailors to report to duty, and after almost two months on Guam, the aircraft carrier was able to get underway.

The mobile medical facility tents will be moved inside sturdy structures on the Navy base as the Marianas and the greater Indo-Pacific prepare for typhoon season, the Navy stated in the release.

The relocation was decided in the face of possible destructive winds and rain.

“The decision to move the EMF to Santa Rita was made based on prudent recommendations from our medical and expeditionary leadership,” said Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander, Joint Region Marianas. “We are committed to maintaining our ability to provide a critical capacity backstop for U.S. Naval Hospital Guam’s COVID-19 response, and we will remain ready, if requested, to support Guam and the region.”

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