2 more COVID-19 cases in NMI

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Posted on May 18 2020

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Two more persons—a man and a woman—tested positive for coronavirus last May 16, boosting the CNMI’s total number of cases to 21.

Also, starting today, May 18, 2020, most government offices will be open for a half day, from 8am to 12pm.

The two new cases, a 31-year-old male and a 22-year-old female, were identified through contact tracing after having been in contact with persons who’ve been previously diagnosed with the coronavirus. Both are asymptomatic, which means they do not have any symptoms. Their specimens were collected, processed, and then confirmed positive at the CHCC laboratory last Saturday, May 16.

According to a Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force statement, the two cases are both in stable condition and are in isolation at the designated isolation site, which is Kanoa Resort in Susupe.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has already initiated contact tracing for their more immediate contacts, which include their closest family members, friends, and associates.

Mass testing will be expanded to Tinian and Rota starting today. Press secretary Kevin Bautista said that individuals from both islands who test positive for the coronavirus will be flown to Saipan to undergo treatment at Kanoa Resort.

To date, the CNMI has 21 coronavirus cases, with seven active cases, 12 recoveries, and two deaths.

The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force also issued the following reminder last Saturday: “Even if you’ve tested negative for the virus, or have already been infected with the virus and recovered, it is essential for everyone in the community to continue to practice strict social distancing, and avoid public places as much as possible.”

Govt operations resume

Starting today and for the week of May 17 through May 23, government offices will be open four hours from 8am to 12pm. This will provide government offices an opportunity to get social distancing systems and handwashing, and wearing of face masks in place and running in safe and efficient manner.

The next week, starting on May 24, government offices will open for the regular hours. At that point, the government will be fully open to the public.

At all times, government offices and the public using those offices will still need to practice proper social distancing, handwashing, and wearing of face masks.

COVID-19 in Guam

Last May 14, 2020, two new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

According to the Joint Information Center in Guam, following guidance from the Governor’s Physicians’ Advisory Group, a case that was initially removed from the overall count on Friday was re-classified as a probable case. That means a case that has been clinically diagnosed with COVID-19, regardless of laboratory result.

Of the two newly reported cases, one was identified with confirmatory testing at Guam Public Health Laboratory and the other case is associated with a significant COVID-19 cluster and tested positive at Guam Memorial Hospital.

As of May 15, 2020, there have been 154 cases of COVID-19 reported in Guam, with five deaths and 124 recoveries.

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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