The emergency entrance at Queen Beatrix Medical Centre in St. Eustatius.
ST. EUSTATIUS--The board of directors of the St. Eustatius Healthcare Foundation (SEHF) stated that as a consequence of three staff members of the Queen Beatrix Medical Centre (QBMC) testing positive for COVID-19, it was decided to shut down all hospital operations at the facility and to relocate these to the Hospitainer.
The Hospitainer, which was made available by the Netherlands, is designated to treat COVID-19 cases. The Dutch government also sent personal protective equipment. Active and retired nurses were trained to operate the Hospitainer.
Several staff members at the medical centre had been in contact with an essential worker who tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, three persons who were in contact with an infected person at QBMC have since tested positive for COVID-19. Two of these are lab technicians and the third is an Auxiliary Home nurse.
On Sunday, when it was learned that members of the hospital staff were in contact with a person who had tested positive for the coronavirus, it was announced that visits to QBMC should be limited and that patients should make a call before visiting. In light of the current situation and hoping to mitigate the spread of the virus among hospital staff and patients, the medical centre has decided that those measures are not enough.
On Wednesday, September 9, and Thursday, September 10, QBMC will prepare a small transition of emergency operations to the Hospitainer. During these transition days, a doctor will be available for telephone consultations and emergencies only. The laboratory will also be available for emergencies only.
The emergency entrance to the medical centre on Fort Oranjestraat will be used for accessing the building, while the front entrance at Queen Beatrix Road will be closed.
Starting Friday, September 11, patients who have consulted with a doctor by telephone and need to be seen as well as emergency patients will be instructed to visit the Hospitainer. All medical, nursing and emergency care will be transferred to the Hospitainer until further notice.
The SEHF board stated that they are well-aware this is a drastic decision, but due to the crisis they are facing the board is convinced these measures are necessary. The healthcare foundation extended its apologies for any inconvenience these measures may cause but stated that these measures must be put in place for the safety of both patients and staff. The public will be informed as the situation pertaining to COVID-19 develops or changes.