1 passenger at quarantine site tests positive

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Posted on Jun 09 2020

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One additional person has been recently confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, bringing CNMI’s confirmed case count to 28 since March 28, 2020.

The individual is an asymptomatic 34-year-old male and is not a resident of the CNMI. As a passenger of yesterday’s United Airlines flight, he was placed under quarantine and his specimen was collected while in quarantine, which was identified as positive for the virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, according to a statement from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. yesterday.

So far, of the 28 confirmed cases in the CNMI, five were identified through testing at the quarantine site. The recent cases, identified through the arrival screening and quarantine process required for all incoming international passengers, highlights the value of this border containment effort. Combined with immediate contact tracing, these interventions are key in minimizing the risk of exposure for COVID-19 to the community, the statement adds.

The CNMI Community Vulnerability Level remains at YELLOW because of a greater number of negative results among an increasing number of residents being tested.

Ribbon cutting for ACS soon

After weeks of pushing back the target date to unveil the Alternative Care Site at Kanoa Resort in Susupe, Warren Villagomez, who chairs the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, said that the target date for a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be announced soon.

Villagomez said that they will be determining and coming up with a set date for the ribbon-cutting ceremony in a few days, just as soon as the contractor is done with the final stage of the process, which is making sure that everything is in place.

“The contractor is finishing up everything that needs to close out this Friday,” he said. The ACS now has 90% of the equipment that’s required at the facility.

Villagomez earlier said that they want to make sure that all the equipment and the standard of care will not be compromised once the ACS is opened.

Additionally, contracts for the two quarantine sites—Kanoa Resort and the Pacific Islands Club Saipan—are nearing expiration. Patrick Guerrero, the governor’s authorized representative, said that they will determine within the next few days whether the facilities are still needed to serve as quarantine sites.

“The governor’s directive on the mandatory quarantine is going to be addressed,” said Guerrero, “on how we continue, or if there’re any changes to that, that will determine whether we still need these facilities to serve as quarantine sites.”

False positive results

When it comes to knowing your test results for COVID-19, the ideal scenario is to have an accurate result, but a variety of factors can come into play and that’s when a false positive result come in.

According to Esther Muña, chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., a false positive means that the test shows a positive result, but in reality it should be a negative result. This means that a patient may be told that they have COVID-19 but they actually do not have it.

In some cases where a person tests positive for COVID-19, they will be retested to confirm their results. According to press secretary Kevin Bautista if one platform shows a positive result, CHCC will use a second platform to confirm the results of the specimen.

Muña said that a false positive could be from many factors, including sample tests that may have been contaminated, so this is why retesting is necessary.

“As this virus continues to evolve…it’s essential that, just because you…tested negative…you still need to be mindful that, at some point, the virus [could] show up,” said Muña.

Bautista stated that the most used testing platforms is the Abbott 7500 and the GeneXpert.
To date, the CNMI has 27 confirmed cases, with 19 recoveries, two deaths, and six active cases.

COVID-19 in Guam

As of 5pm yesterday, there were no updates on specimens that were collected in Guam.
To date, Guam has 179 confirmed cases, with five deaths, 163 released from isolation, and 11 active cases.

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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